Standards Based Grading

What is it? Why do we use it at Bally?

Traditional Grading

In a traditional grading system, students collect points which may include:

  • Academic progress
  • Participation in class
  • Extra credit
  • Whether or not a name is on a paper
  • Whether or not an assignment is late

Standards Based Grading

In a standards based grading system, student progress is measured solely by progress toward mastery of the academic standard. The grade the student receives is the actual measure of their understanding of the academic content.

There is no:

  • Extra credit
  • Participation points
  • Reduction of points due to late work
  • Reduction of points due to penmanship/neatness/etc.
  • Reduction of points due to no name

How do you account for participation, late work, etc?

As adults, our bosses expect us to:

1. Be on time for work, for meetings, when turning in reports, etc.

2. Be engaged and participate actively in our daily work.

3. Be prepared for the work we are given with materials, pre-work, collaboration, etc.

Students also need to learn these work skills. Although absence of these skills no longer affects the academic score, we continue to track them in Kickboard and reinforce them through programs like Recovery and our PBIS behavior modification system.

Side by Side Comparison

Below is a side by side comparison of two students who perform differently in the classroom and an example of how their grades look different in a traditional vs. standards based grading system.

This video explains the chart you see below.

Big picture

Tools We Use


  • Daily Grades
  • Classwork
  • Assignments
  • Reflections
  • Quizzes

Infinite Campus

  • Progress toward mastery snapshot
  • End of year grades
  • Final grades for quarter-long courses


  • Work Skills (Late Assignments, Prepared for Class, Participation Grades)
  • Behavior tracking
  • Shoutouts and positive points