Standards Based Grading

WT Elementary Schools, SBG Volume II

What is the purpose of a report card?

The purpose of a report card is to describe a student's learning progress to families and others, based on current learning goals for each grade level. It is intended to inform students and families about learning successes and to guide improvements when needed.

How are standards based report cards different from traditional grades and report cards?

In many traditional classrooms, students are judged on their performance in comparison to their classmates' performance. Grades are not determined by how well students master clearly articulated learning targets or standards, but by how students perform in comparison to that of other students in the class. A grade of C doesn't mean a student is at step 3 in a five-step process to mastery. It means the student's performance is average or in the middle of the class. Therefore, these grades communicate little about what students actually learned or were able to do by the end of the reporting period. This is why we want to replicate our K-2 approach, so students and families can measure individual student growth over the course of the year. Standards based grades allow students to work toward goals and celebrate their learning success. Please refer back to the link above to view more about standards based grading.

What is the Academic Scale being used in Grades 3-5?

Secure - I independently demonstrate mastery of this skill or standard through application or transference to new tasks. We continue to collaborate on additional opportunities to apply this knowledge.

Approaching - I consistently demonstrate understanding of this skill or standard with little or no assistance. I am working toward independent application and transference of learning to new tasks.

Developing - I demonstrate progress in my understanding of this skill or standard. My performance is inconsistent, and I often receive multiple supports as I work toward meeting grade level expectations.

Beginning - I demonstrate limited understanding of this skill or standard, and I need a high level of prompting and support.

NI - Not Introduced

* Students who are not submitting sufficient work may be given a Beginning. Beginning scores will be accompanied with a comment. Students should be reminded that the regular submission of completed work provides data to measure student growth within a standard.

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What is the Scale for Specials, Spanish, and Behaviors that Support Learning?





* Students who are not submitting sufficient work for Specials and/or Spanish may be given a score of Rarely.

My child is completing all of his or her work. Will this translate to a "Secure" rating?

The standards/skills on the report card are year long goals. Therefore, it is not likely that students will be secure until they are presented with the standard/skill multiple times to demonstrate independence. Students are "Secure" not only when they are independent with the standard/skill, but when they can also transfer it to new tasks or new learning.

In addition, some standards are not fully introduced and explored during the first marking period; therefore, there may not be the opportunity to fully assess some of the complex standards.

Why might my child receive an NI (Not Introduced)?

NI may be used when certain standards are not addressed within a marking period due to instructional modifications or pacing changes that may need to be implemented. Teacher comments should address why the NI was assigned.

How will student achievement be recognized?

As noted and summarized by Rick Wormeli and Thomas Guskey...

Wormeli and Guskey's work focuses on educational measurement and evaluation, professional development, teacher change, student assessment, and grading/reporting.

If we are educating the whole child, we should consider the vast developmental differences of our students. Students who are well into abstract thought will be working at a totally different level than other students who just aren't there yet, no matter how motivated and hard-working both types of students are in our classrooms.

Our goal is to work together with families to dismantle our view of what constitutes student success while finding multiple ways to provide positive feedback to all students. We hope to change assessment and grading practices so assessments are authentic and conducted from many angles and categories of measure, and grades are accurate reflections of mastery of standards.

Let's privately and publicly affirm the most important skills of the 21st century we find in our students: creativity, collaboration, compassion, critical thinking, flexibility, resilience, task analysis, positive social change, ethics, courage, mental dexterity, pattern recognition and manipulation, and initiative. These are worthy areas of celebration. As we move forward in standards based grading, Honor Roll and Principal's List are no longer congruent with our elementary philosophy of growth mindset.

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