What Are School Report Forms?
School report forms, also called counselor recommendation forms, are filled out by a high school counselor or an equivalent school official. It includes a recommendation letter, your transcript of record, information about the school’s academic program, and your student assessment in comparison with other students. The purpose of such a report form is to recommend students, list their virtues and explain why they should be admitted to a certain college or university.
If you look at a secondary school report sample, it acts as both the academic and personal overview of a student’s application. Therefore, it plays a crucial role during the assessment process of college admission. It serves as the foundation of who the student is and how they have fared in comparison to other students.
A standard school report form should generally encompass the following elements, consisting of two short responses and a long response that goes into more detail:
- Duration & context in which you’ve known the student (short)
- Description of the student (short)
- A broad assessment in which characteristics, merits and achievements of the student can be detailed.
In this article, you will learn:
1. How a school report is structured
2. Our tips for writing quality school reports
3. How school report forms benefit from a digital checklist
The 5 Part Anatomy of a School Report
A student cannot influence the counselor on what information he or she will report in the school report form. It is, however, beneficial to discuss the form structure with the student in advance so that they can be aware of the potential contents and what to expect from the report.
Here’s a closer look at the 5 main elements of school report form:
- Class Rank and GPA
This information can be found on a student’s transcript and in the official school reports. Adding this information to the report form makes it more convenient for the admissions officer to get an overview over the student’s achievements. Within the context of a school report form, you have the chance to add additional information, in order to allow an admissions officer to fine-tune what class rank and GPA mean at a particular school, ensuring that a student is not judged against the standard of another school.
- Percentage of Graduating Students
This refers to the percentage of graduating students immediately attending a college or university. The information helps the admission officer understand the school and its graduates as a whole. For example, a school that has 100% of its student body going to four-year institutions might be a different setting compared to a school sending only 40% of its students to such institutions. This is vital for admission officers to get a feel for the general context from the start, so students are appropriately evaluated in context.
- Advanced Courses Offered by the School
The number of advanced courses offered by the school along with the demand of the course load acts as a standard for how difficult a student’s academic work has been. It’s useful in making the admission officer more familiar with the uncommon features of the school’s curriculum. For example, a school might not offer Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes. Or maybe it is impossible for a student to take AP Calculus or Physics in the same year. Admission officers can gather a lot from the information provided here and fully understand what each curriculum means.
- How Long the Counselor Knows the Student
Knowing how long a counselor has known their students is vital in assessing the context of his/her/their recommendation. There are some schools that work with their students for the whole four years. In other schools teachers only come into contact with students a few times over several year. This information makes sure that students who go to schools where the counselors have their hands full are not punished for that.
- Student Ratings
Although the student ratings in these school report forms do not really matter to an admissions officer, they serve as a great reminder to students and parents that counselors cannot endorse everyone the same way. An admission officer will not trust a counselor’s word if he puts a “one of the top students” comment on every single one of his students applications.
7 Tips for Writing School Reports
School reports have two main elements – an assessment and an advice component. If you are a counselor and you are creating 80 reports in a couple of weeks, the exhaustion can affect the quality of your reports.
In order to stay on top of your game and provide the best reports possible for your students, we will leave you with these 7 tips to follow in order to write a great school reports, that truly reflects a student’s value and merit:
- Simple and straightforward
Before the admissions officer reads the school report, students and their parents will read it first. Thus, they must understand what’s written there. And the only thing to do is to avoid using jargon. Keep it simple, honest and to the point. The better you express yourself, the better it will reflect on your student.
The language you use can either influence or turn off an admission officer. So use clear and precise language in your feedback. For example, statements like “he has done well” are vague because they do not provide any exact recommendation. Make sure to give precise and hands-on examples of things the student has done well, or character traits that set him/her/them apart.
- Use examples
By giving examples you will show that you are aware of the areas a student has excelled in, as well as of those that might require improvement. Examples show an admissions officer exactly how a student reacts in a given situation and can help form an opinion better than words from a well-meaning counsellor.
- Share the rating and the model
Explain the rating or grading model so that it becomes clear on which basis a student has been taught, observed and graded. Just the same as examples, this element provides valuable context to an admissions officer who has to gather information on a student based on external sources alone.
- Check the guidelines
Checking the school guidelines on how to write the school report gives you insight into the appropriate format. You can also check the secondary school report sample to have a much better grasp of how the final report should look like. Contact a college or university’s admissions office in order to make sure which information they wish to receive in order to facilitate their decision making.
- Be Timely
Let the report rest after you have finished writing it. Come back to it at a later date and review your answers and observations. Make sure to send it out in time, so that the student has the best possible chances.
Since a school report form is a professional document that carries extreme importance, it is very important that you take care to edit it properly. Format, styling, language, and any other components will reflect not only on you, but your institution and your student as well.
Create Excellent School Reports With A Digital Tool
Help your students by writing and submitting a helpful and thorough school report form to the admissions office of their dream college or university. Your words and observations can seriously add to a student’s college application so make the most of it and concentrate on what you have to say.
With Lumiform, it has never been easier to fill in a school report form. No messing with complicated stacks of paper where you don’t have enough space to record your observations, just a simple, streamlined digital form that keeps track of your writing and gives you as much space as you need in order to report on the student in question.
Write your report on the desktop version, or add notes to your report wherever you are via the mobile app, giving you the flexibility you need to guide your students through the last stages of their high school experience.
- Lumiform offers countless ready-made templates to choose from, so that you can start writing a school report right away.
- If your school or the student’s dream college has specific requests, edit any of Lumiform’s templates or just use our flexible form builder to create your own forms in just a few minutes.
- With the easy-to-use mobile app you can save time on logistics and concentrate on writing.
- All school report form results are automatically summarised in a report that can then be used for a college application.