Drafting report card comments for failing students challenges you as an educator. You’ve got to be careful with your words but in the end, you need to say exactly what needs to be said.

This list of comments provides a framework from which to begin writing comments for students who are performing significantly below grade level.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you draft your report card comments for students who are at risk of failing…

  1. Start on a positive note. When students are performing below grade level, it’s important to always begin your notes with positive vibes. Every child exhibits a strength in something, even if it isn’t academic. Find that something, and leverage it when writing your notes. Parents will appreciate you for it.

2. End with next steps. Give 1 or 2 actionable steps that parents can take to help their child improve in said subject area. Also mention what you are specifically doing during class time to support the child. It takes a team to help the child meet grade level expectations.

3. Proofread. Before distributing report card comments, review them carefully. Even better, have a trusted colleague revise and edit them. While small errors creep up every now and then, presenting a polished note to parents underlines the seriousness of the matter and shows that you care about your work.

Check off these 3 key elements, and your report card comments for students performing below grade level will be all set and ready to go!

Related Content: The Ultimate Collection of Report Card Comments for All Subject Areas (Elementary Edition)

Report Card Comments for Failing Students

  • _______is progressing below grade level in (insert any subject area).
  • _______struggles to keep up with her homework assignments.
  • Since last semester, ______has not been meeting the academic expectations of 3rd grade.
  • _______refuses to complete work assignments.
  • _______frequently produces poor work.
  • _______struggles to read grade-appropriate sight words.
  • Though _______puts forth much effort, she needs instructions to be stated repeatedly before grasping basic concepts.
  • _______lack of a strong vocabulary foundation affects her low reading comprehension.
  • _______seldomly refers to the provided rubrics when self-evaluating graded assignments and projects.
  • Because of frequent absences, _______misses important tests and quizzes. However, he does not take the opportunity to retake assessments. His grades suffer because of this.
  • _______has consistently scored poorly on math assessments (or any subject area).
  • _______often has difficulties grasping the basic concepts of (insert any subject area).
  • Even after repeated feedback, _______work is frequently messy and her handwriting illegible. This makes her work difficult to grade.
  • _______only puts minimum effort in completing his work.
  • _______does not work well without constant supervision.
  • _______regularly does not complete his homework.
  • _______does not maximize her time in class in order to complete assignments.

More Report Card Comments for Students at Risk for Failing

  • _______failed to submit her portion of the group project, leading to a decrease in her grade.
  • Even with accommodations, _______struggles to meet grade level expectations.
  • According to the Fountas & Pinnell reading assessment, ________is reading at a Frustrational Level.
  • _______always rushes through her work causing careless errors.
  • _______makes the effort but still finds the subject matter difficult.
  • _______lacks self-discipline and self-motivation.
  • There’s no doubt that _______possesses the capability to do well but she’d rather day dream or distract others.
  • _______rarely reviews assignment before submitting causing missed points due to careless mistakes.
  • _______constantly exhibits disruptive behavior in class which impacts his learning.
  • According to my records, _______has a significant number of incomplete and/or missed assignments.
  • _______seldomly works well independently and relies on peers to complete assignments.
  • _______has a hard time paying attention for even short periods of time.
  • Low attendance has lead to below average grades this quarter.
  • Though _________has difficulties grasping (insert any learning objective), she is kind and a hard worker.
  • _______shows little interest in school.
  • _______daily effort fluctuates. This inconsistency shows in her work performance.
  • Although ________is performing below grade level in (insert any subject area), she is a gifted athlete/musician/artist.
  • Lack of organization causes _______to waste precious time needed for completing learning tasks.
  • ________is reluctant to take the initiative in starting assignments; he must be repeatedly redirected.

Next Steps Report Card Comments

  • _______should attend after school tutorials in order to catch up on missed work.
  • _______needs a lot of encouragement to stay motivated.
  • I recommend that ______spend extra minutes at home catching up on missing and/or incomplete work.
  • _______must complete all missing assignments by (insert due date).
  • _______needs to improve her work habits significantly.
  • Let’s meet to discuss how we can adjust _______accommodations so that he is more successful with the learning objectives.
  • A more positive attitude would help to change ________mindset when it comes to his work.
  • Please know that extra help is available for ______ after school 2x per week.
  • Poor work habits are the cause of ______low academic performance.
  • I think_______would benefit from sitting closer to the word wall.
  • _______rude behavior and negative attitude hinders his work performance.
  • Implementing feedback will positively impact _______work performance.
  • It is essential that _______socialize less and focus more.
  • _______would greatly benefit from utilizing a time management system in order to keep track of all assignments.
  • _______is encouraged to respond to instructions the first time they are given.
  • _______could benefit from tutoring in (insert any subject area).
  • Let’s work on building _______reading stamina by having her read for at least 20 minutes daily.
  • I suggest _______implement a few study skills to help her master the lesson material better.
  • ________should review his work thoroughly before submission.
  • Please have _______read each night for at least 20-30 minutes.
  • ________needs to ask for clarification when his comprehension breaks down.
  • ________is encouraged to work independently without distracting others.
  • Asking questions during class discussions and group work is highly encouraged.

Wrapping Up

You don’t have to go it alone as you draft your report card comments for failing students.

Remember these 3 key elements:

  • Start on a positive note.
  • Write 1 or 2 next step comments so parents know what actions to take in order to help their child.
  • Proofread.

Best