It means "in between" or "provisional": but what is an interim report for?
Some of our time this morning was spent looking at our practice of interim reporting. Of course, it is a requirement in this jurisdiction, but what is its purpose?
We tossed around a number of questions about the "interim", which in turn suggested others:
Who is it for? Is it meant to give feedback to students about what is working well, and what isn't? Is it meant to point out where the student needs to work harder? Is it meant for parents, as an "early warning signal" of impending doom on the report card?
Are we reporting on specific assignments? on learning outcomes met? on units of study completed? Is it meant to describe behaviour, attitude, concentration or work habits? or all of the above?
How do we report? Is it a check mark? a numbered code? a letter (G, S, N, Y, A, B, C+, F...) or an anecdotal remark? How helpful are the kinds of comments we make? "This student is failing this course." "Lovely student." "Good worker." "Must try harder." "Will not likely pass."
As we near "trick or treat" time, it's also interim time. Asking these questions ("What do we hope to accomplish?") might help parents, students and teachers make better use of the exercise.