Daily Report Card


What is a daily report card (DRC)?

A daily report card (DRC) is a way for your child’s teacher to provide you with daily feedback about specific behaviors that occur at school. A DRC also helps parents support these behaviors through the use of rewards at home.

Why are DRCs important?

Communication between parents/caregivers and teachers is essential to help children’s social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning at school. Typically, communication between parents/caregivers and teachers is not structured and happens inconsistently. The DRC allows for consistent communication about specific behaviors that parents/caregivers and teachers want to focus on improving. Also, rewards at home are often meaningful to children. As such, at-home rewards can really help support and improve behaviors that occur at school. Creating a system where children’s behaviors are monitored and supported both at home and at school offers the best chance for a child to be successful!

What to do

  1. Make a list of rewards.
    Select rewards that are inexpensive/free, and can be given easily and frequently. It can be helpful to select rewards that already exist in your home, as long as they are things that your child enjoys! For these rewards, consider making your child now earn them as part of a reward system, rather than having free access to them (e.g., screen time, staying up late an extra 5 minutes). 

  2. Work with your child’s teacher to make a list of behaviors. 
    Work collaboratively with your child’s teacher to identify a few behaviors that are impacting your child’s academic or social functioning at school. Based on those challenges, focus on the “positive opposites” that you want to see more of (e.g., turning in homework, playing appropriately with peers). 
      1. Try to select no more than three behaviors at once. 
      2. It’s usually best to start off with just one behavior, and then add behaviors over time. 
      3. Define the behavior or the expectation clearly with the teacher. The definition should be so clear that even a stranger would understand what is expected!

  3. Work with the teacher to decide when these behaviors will be monitored and when feedback will be provided to the child.
    The teacher will be the person monitoring and providing ongoing feedback to your child about their behaviors at school. Work with the teacher to figure out when this will happen during the day. We want to encourage the teacher to praise the child’s success and handle challenges in a “matter-of-fact” manner.

  4. Connect the behaviors to the rewards.
    It’s important to clearly decide what behavior(s) or how many behaviors will result in what reward(s).

  5. Providing the reward.
    When your child comes home, review the DRC with them. Providing the reward immediately or as soon as possible is the most effective method. Or, provide a secondary reward (points, marbles, tokens, stickers, etc.) that can be saved for a reward in the very near future (e.g., end of the week). This is also an opportunity to problem-solve if there were difficulties that day and help the child consider what they can do differently in the future.

  6. Monitor and refine the DRC over time.
    A DRC can be changed over time based on how well your child is doing. If they are struggling to meet expectations, make the expectations slightly easier. If they are doing well, make the expectations slightly more challenging. Remember the goal is to help support your child’s progress (rather than focusing on perfection!).

Between Session Practice

Working with the teacher

When can you meet with your child’s teacher to discuss a DRC?


What types of school behaviors would be helpful to focus on in a DRC? Feel free to ask the teacher for their ideas and to help prioritize.

___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

In collaboration with the teacher, try to figure out some appropriate expectations to start with for these behaviors. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

When will the teacher monitor these behaviors? ___________________________________________________________________________________________


Note: It’s helpful to remember that teachers have multiple students that they are responsible for. It may be easier to start simple when setting up a DRC. Try to be flexible and meet the teacher where they are at. Consistency is key!

Using the reward system at home

How will the DRC be shared with you at home (paper copy, email, text, social messaging service, etc.)? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

What are some rewards you can consider? (Tip: It’s helpful to collaborate with your child to identify as many as possible.  Though, the parent/caregiver will have the final say as to which rewards are “reasonable”). ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Define what rewards should be linked to which behaviors. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

How will you give the reward?
(Some considerations: Will the reward be given immediately after the desired behavior happens?  Or, will they be receiving their reward at a later, agreed upon time?  Or, will you use a secondary reward like a sticker chart, where your child can trade in their stickers for a reward once they have enough stickers?): ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________

When will you talk to your child/family about this reward system/contract? How can you help everyone understand the system?  How can you collaborate with them on tweaking the system, if needed? ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________