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Renton School District

K-8 Standards-Based Grading and Reporting

Renton elementary and middle schools use six common grading principles and district-defined grading criteria to reduce the subjectivity of individual teacher grades. Standards-based grading tends to be less subjective than the traditional A-F grading system where the components of academic achievement are less well defined. In Renton K-8 schools, teachers do not grade in isolation; instead, they collaborate with their PLC members to create scoring rubrics that provide specific criteria and communicate student progress in a way that is more detailed and less subjective than the traditional point-based system of an A-F grading system.

Middle School Grading Scale

4

Exceeding Standard

Consistently meets most requirements for exceptional work related to course standards and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.

3

Meeting Standard

Consistently meets most requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skills for this point in the school year.

2

Approaching Standard

Consistently meets some requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skills for this point in school year.

1

Attempting Standard

Consistently meets few requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.

IE

Insufficient Evidence

Insufficient evidence has been gathered to indicate an accurate grade due to absences and/or non-completion of assessments.

Elementary Grading Scale

4

Exceeding Standard

Consistently meets most requirements for exceptional work related to course standards and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.

3

Meeting Standard

Consistently meets most requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skills for this point in the school year.

2

Approaching Standard

Consistently meets some requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skills for this point in school year.

1

Attempting Standard

Consistently meets few requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.

IE

Insufficient Evidence

Insufficient evidence has been gathered to indicate an accurate grade due to absences and/or non-completion of assessments.

Elementary standards-based report card

Kindergarten

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Sample Report Card

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Comprehension (Literature & Informational Texts)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Counting and Cardinality
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions
Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Grade 1

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Photo of report card sample

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Literature (Comprehension)
  • Reading Informational Text (Comprehension)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions
Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Grade 2

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Sample report card

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Literature (Comprehension)
  • Reading Informational Text (Comprehension)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions
Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Grade 3

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Photo of sample report card

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Literature (Comprehension)
  • Reading Informational Text (Comprehension)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Number and Operations - Fractions
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions
 
Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Grade 4

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Photo of sample report card

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Literature (Comprehension)
  • Reading Informational Text (Comprehension)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Number and Operations - Fractions
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions
Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Grade 5

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Photo of sample report card

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
  • Effort
  • Reading Literature (Comprehension)
  • Reading Informational Text (Comprehension)
  • Reading Foundational Skills
  • Writing
  • Language (Command of conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking)
MATHEMATICS
  • Effort
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Number and Operations in Base Ten
  • Number and Operations - Fractions
  • Measurement and Data
  • Geometry
SCIENCE
  • Effort
  • Systems
  • Inquiry
  • Application
  • Science Domains (Earth, Life, Physical)
SOCIAL STUDIES
  • Effort
  • Study of Civics, Economics,
  • Geography, History & Social Study Skills
MUSIC
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  • Effort
  • Demonstrates knowledge & skills
WORK HABITS
  • Listens to others
  • Follows directions
  • Uses time well
  • Perseveres COMMUNITY SKILLS
  • Empathetic
  • Respectful
  • Collaborative
  • Responsible
  • Contributes to Discussions

 

Key for Academic Subjects
  • 4  =  Exceeds Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for exceptional work and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 3  =  Meets Standards‐Consistently meets requirements for proficient work and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 2  =  Below Standards‐Meets some requirements for proficient work and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • 1  =  Well Below Standards‐Meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient Evidence
  • NA  =  Not assessed during this reporting period.

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a + may be added to a grade.

When a student is working on a modified standard, a * will be added to a grade.

Effort is NOT factored into the cumulative academic grade.

Key for Effort, Work Habits and Community Skills

+   Student consistently and independently meets expectations

=   Student frequently meets expectations and requires moderate assistance

–    Student rarely meets expectations and requires considerable assistance

Middle School standards-based report card

Grade 6-8

***Photo of sample: actual report card formatting may be different***

Photo of report card comments page Photo of report card grades page

When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a .5 decimal may be added to the grade.  Effort and Community Skills are graded separately in each course.

Note: Courses that earn high school credit must use traditional A-F grading.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS (list of skills taught in that grading period)

  • Reading for Meaning          
  • Reading for Author's Craft and Connecting Ideas Across Texts
  • Reading at Grade Level
  • Writing
  • Listening and Speaking
MATHEMATICS (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • Ratios and Proportional Relationships
  • The Number System
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability
SCIENCE (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • Science and Engineering Skills
  • Science Core Concepts (e.g., Earth Science, Physical Science)
  • Scientific Thinking
SOCIAL STUDIES (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Civics and Economics
  • Reading in Social Studies
  • Writing in Social Studies
ARTS (Music, Drama, Art) (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • Art Subject Knowledge
  • Art Technical Skills
  • Participation / Rehearsal
  • Individual performance
  • Ensemble performance
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • Motor skills
  • Fitness
  • Participation
Career & Technical Education  (list of skills taught in that grading period)
  • Integration
  • Math application
  • Use of technology
  • Formulate, Synthesize and Apply Content Knowledge

 

Grade Mark Legend

 The purpose of the Renton SD report card is to communicate with parents/guardians and the student regarding progress toward district identified learning standards, effort and community skills. It indicates the student's learning strengths and where additional practice is needed.

  • 4  =  Exceeding Standards: Consistently meets most requirements for exceptional work related to course standards and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.
  • 3  =  Meeting Standards: Consistently meets most requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skills for this point in the school year.
  • 2  =  Approaching Standards: Consistently meets some requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skills for this point in the school year.
  • 1  =  Attempting Standards: Consistently meets few requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.
  • IE   =  Insufficient evidence has been gathered to indicate an accurate grade.
  • NA  =  This component was not assessed during this marking period.
  • M = This component was assessed using a modified standard. 
  • P = Passing grade. Not calculated in grade point total.
  • NC = No Credit. Not calculated in grade point total.

 

NON-ACADEMIC INDICATORS (not calculated into the academic grade)

Students do not receive grades for advisory; the goals of advisory are to help students develop good relationships, social skills, and engagement with learning.

 Community Skills: 
  • Accepts responsibility
  • Shows active listening skills
  • Respects personal/public property and the voice of others
  • Values instructional time.
Effort:
  • Is prepared and follows the class routine, completes classwork and homework, and shows focus during class time.
Grading Scale:
  • 4 = Consistently
  • 3 = Often
  • 2 = Sometimes
  • 1  = Rarely

Reminder to families: Your student's Quarter grades (Q1 and Q3) are now a snapshot of progress up to that point in time, while the Semester grades (S1 and S2) are the overall indication of your student's achievement during each half of the school year. Please contact your student's teachers any time you have a question about your student's progress or grades.

Middle School Standards-Based Report Card Handbook

Section One: The Purpose of the Report Card and Reasoning for SBGR

The purpose of a report card is to communicate with parents/guardians and the student regarding progress toward district identified learning standards, effort and community skills. It indicates the student’s learning strengths and where additional practice is needed.


The research and experts in the field have asserted that standards-based grading and reporting allows us to align our grading and reporting practices to our standards-based instructional practices. When implemented, standards-based grading and reporting (SBGR) allows us to more accurately and consistently report student achievement to students and parents/guardians as it relates to state and local standards.

Grades are the ultimate form of feedback to a student about their progress toward mastery of standards. Grades need to be accurate and meaningful. Students and parents/guardians need a precise picture of what has been learned and what still needs to be learned. Grading and reporting around specific standards, while using the accompanying strategy of formative assessment with feedback related to progress toward mastery of standards, has been shown to significantly boost achievement and motivation for students. Research by Black and Wiliam (1998) and Hattie (2009) demonstrates that high quality formative assessment and feedback have a powerful impact on student learning. The effect size (the impact on student learning see Glossary page 16) of formative assessment and feedback on standardized tests is between 0.4 and 0.7, which is larger than most known educational interventions. As students’ progress in their mastery of standards, they feel motivated and more successful because enhancing perceived competence is motivating in and of itself. Students begin to think about grades and other assessments that teachers use to provide informational feedback as helpful toward their success.

References

Guskey, T. & Baley, J. M. (2001). Developing grading and reporting systems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

O’Connor, K. (2009). How to grade for learning (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Tomlinson, C. & McTighe, J. (2006). Integrating differentiated instruction & understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappa, 80(2), 139-149.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning. New York: Routledge.

Section Two: Principles of Grading

Principle 1 – Grades and reports should be based on clearly specified learning goals and performance standards
  1. Identify reporting standards
  2. Create assessments and rubrics
  3. Assess students and collect evidence
  4. Report student performance
Principle 2 – Evidence used for grading should be valid

Use in grading

  • Summative assessments
  • Demonstrated skill based on standard
  • Performance/Product based assessments
  • Application of learnings
  • Differentiation for ELL and Special Education

Do NOT use in grading

  • Homework
  • Limited technology
  • Late work
  • Daily formative assessments
  • Penmanship
  • Extra Credit
  • Citizenship
Principle 3 – Grading should be based on established criteria
  • State standards
  • Professional certification requirements
  • AP or IB assessment targets
Principle 4 - Not everything should be included in grades

Students are assessed as they learn but only scored or graded after learning has occurred.

Principle 5 – Grade a standard based on most recent work, not the average

Work graded at the beginning of the term may not reflect the final grade provided at the end of the term and should not be included in the grade.

Principle 6 – Report achievement and other factors separately

The academic grade only relates to progress towards the academic standards for a subject, not the effort, behavior, or work completion.  Those may influence what a student knows and is able to do but are recorded separately.

Section Three: Grades Defined

Academic Grades

  • 4 =  Exceeding Standards Consistently meets most requirements for exceptional work related to course standards and demonstrates a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.
  • 3 = Meeting Standards Consistently meets most requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates grade level knowledge and skills for this point in the school year.
  • 2 = Approaching Standards Consistently meets some requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates some grade level knowledge and skills for this point in school year.
  • 1 = Attempting Standards Consistently meets few requirements for proficient work related to course standards and demonstrates little grade level knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.
  • IE = Insufficient Evidence Insufficient evidence has been gathered to indicate an accurate grade.
  • NA = Not Assessed This component was not assessed during this marking period.
  • M = Modified Grade Progress indicated that reflects student achievement based on a modified standard.
  • P = Pass Not calculated in grade point total
  • NC = No Credit Not calculated in grade point total

Notes

  • When a student has partial success at the next higher level, a .5 decimal may be added to the grade
  • Courses that earn high school credit must use traditional A‐F grading

Non‐Academic Indicators (not calculated into the academic grade)

  • Community Skills = Accepts responsibility, shows active listening skills, respects personal/public property, respects the voice of others, values instructional time
  • Effort = Is prepared and follows the class routine, completes classwork and homework, shows focus during class time

Non‐Academic Grading Scale

  • 4 = Consistently
  • 3 = Often
  • 2 = Sometimes
  • 1 = Rarely

Section Four: Overview of Academic Grading Criteria

Level 4 Exceeding Standard represents a student who is able to independently extend their knowledge through transference of learning to more complex content and thinking (not new content), including deeper conceptual understanding and application. For example, students who exceed standard can:

  • Create analogies and/or find connections, integrating areas of study
  • Apply concepts or procedures in a complex situation
  • Plan, devise, construct or create new situations that illustrate or use the concept
  • Transfer concepts or procedures to unfamiliar settings

Level 3 Meeting Standard represents those students who understand the standards and are able to independently use the content, details, concepts, vocabulary, processes, procedures and skills that relate to the standard. These students understand not just the "what," but can correctly explain and/or demonstrate the "how" and "why." For example, students who meet standard can:

  • Justify/explain a process or procedure
  • Solve problems in familiar contexts  Analyze situations and decide whether a concept/procedure applies
  • Compare, contrast, and distinguish a concept from related concepts
  • Summarize, conclude, predict and infer

Level 2 Approaching Standard represents a student who has foundational understanding of the content and concepts explicitly taught in class. At Level 2, a student understands or can use the more simple concepts, vocabulary, skills, procedures, and/or details. Students at Level 2 may require support as they are trying to make connections among ideas. For example, students who are approaching standard can:

  • Identify or recall important information or processes
  • List parts of a concept, process or procedure
  • Complete simple procedures or algorithms

Level 1 Attempting Standard represents a student who consistently requires help and support to understand foundational content and concepts explicitly taught in class. At Level 1, students are beginning to understand simple concepts, vocabulary, skills, procedures, and/or details. Students at Level 1, require support as they are trying to make connections about ideas. For example, students who are attempting standard can:

  • Identify or recall some information or processes
  • Identify parts of a concept, process or procedure
  • With support, may be able to complete simple procedures or algorithms

Section Five: Special Education and SBGR

Collaborative Framework for Teachers

Plan

In order to meet the needs of all students, effective general and special education teachers plan collaboratively to implement instruction through identified goals and learning targets based upon student IEPs, coursework, assessments, and other informative data. During planning, conversations include the implementation of accommodations and modifications, power standards, IEP goals, and learning targets to achieve the agreed upon outcome.

Do

Educators seek to individualize instruction through differentiation of the content that is accessible based on students’ learning needs, the products students produce that demonstrate their learning, and the processes by which students may attain learning goals, with a focus on maximizing students’ opportunities to engage in learning within an inclusive environment.

Reflect

The purpose of standards based grading for students receiving services in Special Education is to provide meaningful information to parents/guardians, students, and teachers regarding the student’s progress toward district identified learning standards, as well as effort and community skills. This progress identifies the student’s learning strengths and areas that may require additional practice.

Adjust

The student’s progress toward district identified learning standards is then used to inform IEP teams so that meaningful adjustments to instruction, accommodations, and/or modifications may be implemented.

 

Accommodations and Modifications

Accommodations and modifications are types of adaptations that are made to the environment, curriculum, instruction, or assessment practices in order for students with disabilities to be successful learners and to actively participate with other students in the general education classroom and in school-wide activities.

Accommodations Adaptations that provide access for any student to the general curriculum but do not fundamentally alter the grade-level standard or proficiency level. Changes HOW a student accesses information or demonstrates learning.

Modifications Adaptations to the curriculum that fundamentally alter the grade-level expectation, but do not fundamentally alter the content standard. Modifications typically include reducing the cognitive load (content), methodology or delivery of instructions (process), and/or adjusting the performance criteria (product) and occur over time defined in the IEP. Changes WHAT standard a student is expected to learn.

Alignment with the I.E.P.

Students will demonstrate progress toward identified standards, whether grade level or alternative, with alignment to pertinent IEP goals in qualifying areas.

IEP teams will determine how students will access grade-level content via accommodations or below grade-level content (alternative standards) via modifications to meet a particular standard. For example, a grade of 3 (Meets Expectations), can be achieved via accommodations for grade-level content. A grade of 3 given on an alternative standard is achieved via modifications.

Modified standards are clearly communicated on a report card through the use of an asterisk (*) identifying "Modified Standard."

Section Six: Homework for Practice, Preparation and Integration

Homework and classwork

The purpose of homework or classwork is to provide meaningful independent practice opportunities, background information, or enrich classroom experiences. Homework is used for practice, to prepare students for upcoming learning, and to reinforce and extend learning, but never to learn material for the first time.

Homework or classwork can be a productive practice when it is generated as a result of responding to the needs of a specific class or student. Meaningful practice is short, frequent, and accompanied by feedback related to specific standards. It aims to reinforce learning, not to construct new learning. “Homework is practice, not a demonstration of mastery, and grades are saved for declarations of mastery” (from Fair Isn’t Always Equal by Rick Wormeli).

Practice – although a useful tool for learning – should not have an impact on a student’s academic grade within a standards‐based grading and reporting system because it is practice aimed at increasing the student’s capacity to meet standard. Additionally, it is not possible to verify that the student who is assigned the homework completed the homework. As a result, homework will be used for formative feedback only and will not be included in the formulation of the academic grade.

Examples of Types of Homework (from “How to Grade for Learning” by Ken O’Connor):

For practice:

  • Must be related to instructional objectives
  • Reviews and reinforces newly acquired skills of knowledge
  • Gives independent practice for a new concept/skill
  • Should have an allowance for mistakes as part of the learning process
  • Should be commented on or spot-checked but not counted as part of the academic grade
  • Demonstrates effort, not mastery of concept

For preparation: 

  • Provides background information for upcoming lessons
  • Indicate with completion effort, not outcome mastery

For integration:

  • Are frequently long-term continuing projects that parallel classwork
  • Enrich classroom experiences and deepen the student’s understanding
  • Provide opportunities for problem solving and critical thinking
  • Integrate skills applying many different skills and knowledge sets to a task
  • Require students to apply previous learning to complete these assignments
  • Require project expectations and grading procedures for the assignment to be clear to students and parents

FAQs

Q. How can teachers encourage students to do homework if it is not part of their grade?

A. Homework is best used as a means for students to practice so that students can apply what they have learned in class. When this practice leads to greater understanding of standards and success on concepts taught in classroom, students are more likely to see the value in homework. It is important for teachers to intentionally make this connection for students.

Q. Are teachers expected to provide feedback on all assigned homework?

A. No, teachers will not be expected to provide feedback on ALL assigned homework. However, there may be those select homework assignments that a teacher will want to provide feedback to students that supports key concepts taught in class.

 

Q. What can I say to students who don’t think homework/practice matter?

A. Everything counts. Completed work is practice as well as a way to show commitment or effort. This work can lead to re-take opportunities. You learn and grow through your effort.

References

Cooper, Harris. Homework. White Plains, NY: Longman. 1989. Guskey, Thomas. Grading Policies that Work Against Standards. NASSP Bulletin. Print.

O’Connor, Ken. A Repair Kit for Grading: Fifteen Fixes for Broken Grades Allyn & Bacon, Assessment Training Institute, Inc., 2010.

Marzano, Robert. Classroom Assessment & Grading that Work, Alexandria Virginia, ASCD, 2006

Section Seven: Grading on Most Recent Evidence

Accurate grades are based on the most recent and consistent evidence.

When computing a final grade, we will look at the pattern of achievement and rely more on the most recent scores, not just compute the simple average of all the scores. This means giving more weight to the more recent scores to determine a summative grade. The method for calculating the overall grade is called a “weighted mean.” Skyward automatically computes the overall grade based on the grades and weights that are assigned to each event.

Example:

If a teacher's first two events were formative and were given no weight they would not be calculated in Skyward.  They may be low but have no weight because the events were given before the student could fully learn the material.  The assessments were formative. Later event entries may be given some weight such as a Quiz, but not as much as a more summative test.  An end-of-unit Chapter Test could be given extra weight when it is given at the end of the learning.

If the student scored a 2 on the Quiz, which was given some weight, and scored a 3 on the Chapter Test, which was given more weight; then Skyward would calculate a weighted mean, such as 2.75 instead of 2.5. This can be rounded up to 3 for the overall grade.

Terms:

Weighted Mean (Average): The total of all of the points divided by the number of weighted assignments.

Weighted Grades: Assigning more credit to certain types of assessment. For example, homework or formative assessments have no weight and summative assessment have heavier weights than other assignments.

RSD Weighting Protocol

  1. Identify the standards you are teaching in the current unit:
  2. Identify the approximate amount of time spent on each standard/skill within the current unit. You may also want to consider if the standard(s) have been taught already or will be taught again. By how much do you want your assessments to increase in weight over time (e.g., double, triple, etc.)?
  3. How will you decide when to shift from formative to summative assessments?
  4. What is your PLC’s plan for offering multiple assessments of each standard? Will you spiral standards from one assessment to the next, offer retake opportunities, embed retakes into regular class periods, etc.?
  5. Plan next steps as individual or group: 

 

References

Dedah, H., & Ratzlaff Fulkerson, S. (2010). Eight steps to meaningful grades. Phi Delta Kappan, V91.N7, 53-58.

Guskey, T. (2000). Grading policies that work against standards...and how to fix them. NASSP Bulletin. 84(620), 20-27

Marzano, R. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Reeves, D. (2008). Effective grading practices. Educational Leadership. 65(5). 85-87.

Reeves, D. (2004). The case against the Zero. Phi Delta Kappan. 86(4), 324-325.

Schmoker, M. (2001). Results fieldbook: Practical strategies from dramatically improved schools. Alexandria, VA: Association for Curriculum and Development. (2010, February 24).

Standards-Based grading revisited. Education, Retrieved April 1, 2011, from http://thehurt.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/standards-based-grading-revisited/

Walker, K. Role of zero in grading. Principals’ Partnership. Retrieved April 25, 2011, from www.rockhill.k12.sc.us/assessmentandgrading/articles.aspx?file_id=1564

Section Eight: Multiple Assessment Opportunities and Retakes

An important piece of standards-based grading includes multiple assessment opportunities for each content standard taught in the classroom. When students do not meet standard, they need opportunities to retake assessments in order to show their own growth in their learning over time. All teachers in the Renton School District middle schools will allow some form of retake opportunity for each reporting standard. The teachers will use their discretion to determine the exact nature of the retake opportunity, the timing of the retake opportunity, and the range of standards needing to be re-assessed.

In order to assist teachers in developing effective retake opportunities forstudents, guidance is offered based on tips provided in the article “Redo’s and Retakes Done Right” written by Rick Wormeli. Staff members are also encouraged to collaborate with their PLCs to develop common and consistent retake protocols.

Suggested Strategies for Retakes
  • Ask students who redo assignments to submit the original attempt with the new one and to write a brief letter comparing the two. What is different, and what did they learn as a result of redoing the assignment? Teachers are encouraged to use this strategy of error analysis to assist students’ in strengthening their ability to self-assess and self-correct their assessments. Teachers may also have the student create a SMART goal for how the standard could be reassessed.
  • Choose your battles – Push hard for the student to redo anything associated with the most important curriculum standards and less so with work associated with less important standards. This is an integral piece of standards-based grading. Teachers are encouraged to focus their retake protocol on their summative assessments, and/or the portions of their assessments addressing a specific standard. For example, on an assessment that tested four standards, if a student meets expectations in three out of four, the teacher is encouraged to offer a retake opportunity in just the one remaining standard. Some retakes can be a 10 minute interview at the teacher’s desk while the rest of the class works on something else.
  • Reserve the right to give alternative versions of the assessment, especially if you think students will simply memorize a correct answer pattern or set of math answers. Teachers are encouraged to develop retakes based only on the standards not yet met by the student. Teachers may set parameters regarding the timing of the retake opportunity.
    Teachers may choose to employ a spiral assessment protocol that allows the students multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency on each standard. This option allows all students to re-take each standard on in-class assessments without having to stay after school.
Spiraling example:

Quiz 1 assesses Standard 1 and Standard 2.

Quiz 2 assesses Standard 1, Standard 2 and Standard 3.

Quiz 3 assesses Standard 1, Standard 2, Standard 3 and Standard 4.

The final assessment assesses all previous standards.

Optional: If students earn a 4 consistently on one standard, that 4 carries forward and the student does not need to complete that standard on the final assessment.

Philosophical Reasoning for Retakes
  • As part of the District Improvement Plan’s focus on increased parent involvement in student achievement, teachers are encouraged to maintain open communication with parents and families. Students’ access and appropriate use of retake opportunities is more likely to occur when families also know about the opportunities for retakes and the protocols for accessing these opportunities.
  • Teachers are encouraged to require that students must complete all the practice (including homework) for a particular standard prior to accessing the retake opportunity for that standard.
  • Teachers may choose not to allow any retakes the last week of the marking period while closing down the grade book and doing report cards. This timing is at the teacher’s discretion and must be explained in classroom procedures to students and parents. Teachers also have the option to change a previous grade to reflect the student’s updated level of performance, or represent this growth as a score in the new grading period.
  • Given the amount of time required for planning, designing, implementing, and scoring retake assessments, students who score at the proficient level (score of 3) and still wish to retake an exam to attempt to earn a 4 must initiate the process and develop a method (idea) for the new measure that will allow them to demonstrate exceeding the standards.
  • “Ultimately, appropriate sampling for grading is about having enough of the right type of assessment information to make high-quality decisions about summarizing student achievement” (See How to Grade For Learning K-12 by Ken O’Conner, page 178). O’Conner goes on to advise that the right number of assessments is 3 to 5. While Marzano agrees, he also states that “The less certain you are about a student’s true score on a given topic, the more assessments you should collect.
     
References

O’Connor, K. (2009). How to grade for learning (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Wormli, Rick. Redos and Retakes Done Right. Educational Leadership/November 2011. Print.

Section Nine: IE Replaces Zero

Insufficient Evidence (IE) indicates that not enough data has been gathered to accurately give a score to a student on an individual standard. A teacher does not need to wait until the end of a grading period to enter IE. Entering an IE earlier in the grading period may help better communicate missing work/assessments to both parents/guardians and students.

Zeroes were previously used to represent two things: zero percent or a missing assignment. In standards-based grading, the zero is replaced with an IE (Insufficient Evidence). Zeroes will no longer be used to record missing assignments or assign a grade. They do not reflect a student’s understanding of the standard or academic achievement.

Think about this... Zeroes have a powerfully negative impact on the overall grade and a debilitating effect on student motivation (effort, optimism). Including zeroes also fails to accurately communicate what students really know and can demonstrate.

Think about this... Teachers will be using scores from multiple assessments to measure the learning of a student. This practice provides multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement toward learning targets. Assigning zeroes to missing work gives a value where in fact there is no data to grade.

“A zero has an undeserved and devastating influence, so much so that no matter what the student does, the grade distorts the final grade as a true indicator of mastery.” - Rick Wormeli, 2006

Overall Class Grade = Weighted average of all reporting standard scores below.

Reporting Standard Score = Average of all sub-standard scores for that reporting standard Sub-Standard.

Final Score = Weighted average of all assessments (events) for that sub-standard

Assessment (Event) Scores = It is recommended that 3-4 pieces of evidence are collect per sub-standard

 

Grading Period Information:

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, students will receive two cumulative semester grades instead of four individual quarter or 9-week grades. Previously middle school students received a grade at the end of each quarter, and then their grades “re-started” the next quarter. By shifting to cumulative semester grades students will be provided with more time and opportunities for growth on the standards they have been taught throughout a semester and allow teachers to offer more retakes/reassessments where needed. Student grades will continue to be posted and report cards sent home at the end of each 9- week period; however, student grades for 1st and 3rd quarters should be perceived as grades in progress rather than final marks.

Section Ten: Honor Roll, Honor Society, and Athletic Eligibility

Honor Roll Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible to make honor roll in middle school in the Renton School District.

  1. The student must accumulate a minimum of eighteen (18) academic grade points. For example: Science Academic Grade of 3.0 + Math Academic Grade of 2.5 + Choir Academic Grade of 3.0 + Language Arts Academic Grade of 3.5 + Social Studies Academic Grade of 3.0 + Art Academic Grade of 3.0 equals a total of 18.0 points. The student is therefore eligible because across the six classes s/he has a 3.0 GPA.
  2. Buildings who want to honor students above the minimal honor roll requirements have that option.  A three level example may include: Bronze Level of 18.0 points (3.00 GPA) AND Silver Level of 19.0 points (3.16 GPA) AND Gold Level 20.0 points (3.33 GPA)

Honor Society Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Honor Society in middle school in the Renton School District.

  1. Honor Society eligibility will be determined by 2nd quarter grades.
  2. Students must earn a minimum of 3.0 for each academic grade.
  3. Students must earn a minimum of a “B” in classes giving a letter academic grade.
  4. Students must earn a minimum of 3.0 for each community skills grade.
Example of a student who is eligible for Honor Society:
  • Physical Education Academic Grade: 3.5 with Community Skills Grade in same class: 3.0
  • Algebra Academic Grade: B with Community Skills Grade in same class: 3.0
  • Science Academic Grade: 3.0 with Community Skills Grade in same class: 3.0
  • Technology Education Academic Grade: 3.5 with Community Skills Grade in same class: 4.0
  • Language Arts Academic Grade: 3.0 with Community Skills Grade in same class: 3.0
  • Social Studies Academic Grade: 3.5 with Community Skills Grade in same class: 3.5

Athletic Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in athletics in middle school in the Renton School District.

1. The student must receive an academic grade higher than one (1) in a minimum of five (5) out of six (6) classes.

2. The student must accumulate a minimum of 15 effort skills points. 

  • For example: Effort Skills in Science: 3.0 + Effort Skills in Band: 2.5 + Effort Skills in Math: 2.0 + Effort Skills in PE: 3.0 + Effort Skills in Language Arts: 3.5 + Effort Skills in Social Studies: 3.0. A total of 17 Effort and Skills points – Eligible

Section Eleven: Teacher Comments on Report Cards

Teacher comments on report cards are a useful form of feedback to students and parents. The comments can be general or specific, depending on a teachers’ judgment and a school’s standard practice, and they can relate to the class as a whole (e.g., what material has been covered) and the individual student. Comments are encouraged but are not mandatory.

Guidelines for Effective Teacher Comments

Comments can clarify students’ strengths and challenges and explain what was achieved during the grading period. When applicable, comments can point out learning problems and offer practical and manageable suggestions about how the problems can be addressed. Relate comments to specific learning goals or standards. Focus on effort, persistence, and work quality. Be specific – noting that a student’s “writing is clearer and more expressive” is better than saying that “writing has improved.”

Some types of comments should be avoided. Don’t include negative statements about students’ behavior or character. Utilizing comments like “lazy” or “difficult” are not effective in gaining the positive attention and partnership of students and parents and may be viewed as demeaning and create barriers between parents and teachers. Try to avoid using words such as unable, can’t, won’t, always, and never for the same reason. Instead, use tactful language to report misbehavior. While suggestions for improvement are desirable, they don’t outweigh the need to be sensitive to students’ well-being. Also avoid making comparisons with other students and commenting about a student characteristic that cannot be changed.

Standardized vs Teacher-Created Comments

In the past, teachers have selected standardized comments from a Skyward menu to provide feedback. However, research has found that parents believe these types of comments are inadequate, impersonal, and imprecise. Parents notice that the same comments are sometimes made by multiple teachers, which makes the comments “highly impersonal.” Parents want more specific and individualized comments that note students’ particular strengths and offer concrete guidance on what students can do to improve. Some research has found that parents are more interested in the comments than the grades. Although creating individualized comments adds time when preparing report cards, their inclusion helps the student and parent understand what has occurred and the concrete steps that need to happen in the future.

When writing report card comments remember…

“The most effective teacher comments focus on the specific standards or learning goals students are expected to attain, but they convey information that might not be explained completely by the mark on the report card” (Guskey p. 126). Guidelines for including teacher comments on report cards (Guskey p. 128):

  • Focus on the goals, not the learner o Provide detailed comments.
  • Offer small, manageable suggestions for improvement.
  • Relate comments to specific learning goals or standards.
  • Avoid comparisons with other students.

Why change the way we communicate comments with parents?

“Parents in particular criticize the menu-based comments as too impersonal and imprecise. They want much more specific and more individualized comments that offer guidance on what can be done to bring about improvement” (Guskey p. 129). Comments will help us to meet our purpose of communicating the progress students are making toward learning, effort, and community skills in each class.

How can we go about this?

Create a common message with your PLC:

  • Limit comments to 200 characters or less.
  • Create a group of comments with PLC members that describes student progress in your class for the grading period that is being reported.
  • What specifically has been taught in your class? (Try not to make it so narrow it couldn’t be applied to many students.)
  • Create a concise description of what effort and community skills look like in your classroom in case you want to provide specific feedback on those areas.

Example Comments (may only be 200 characters in Skyward)

  • Formative assessments and/or practice work are missing. Completion will assist in raising student’s scores.
  • Student works respectfully and contributes to the classroom atmosphere during independent and/or partner work time.
  • During this grading period, student has shown consistent growth through formative and summative assessments in his/her application of grade-level math in a variety of realworld situations.

 

References

Guskey, T. & Baley, J. M. (2010). Developing standards-based report cards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Shafer, S. (1997). Writing effective report card comments. New York: Scholastic.

Section Twelve: Glossary

Adaptations – Procedures for customizing the instruction, assessment and grading system to meet individual students’ needs, which may include accommodations, interventions and modifications.

Accommodations – Adaptations that provide access for any student to the general curriculum but do not fundamentally alter the grade‐level standard or proficiency level.

Alignment – The directness of the link among standards, district curriculum, instructional practices, and assessments.

Averaging Scores – A method to compute a final grade. Grades may be inaccurate when they result only from the calculation of the mean in contexts where extreme scores distort results. They can be repaired by considering other measures of central tendency (mode, median), weighted averages, and using professional judgment.

Cut Scores – Cut scores are selected points on the score scale of a test. The points are used to determine the level of performance.

Effect Size - Effect Size is simply a way of quantifying the effectiveness of a particular intervention. Hattie’s research places particular emphasis on programs with effect sizes above 0.4 as worth having and those lower than 0.4 as needing further consideration.

Formative Assessment – Purposeful, ongoing collection of information about how students are learning while there is still time to improve. Both teacher and student then use the information to guide continuous improvement toward the intended learning.

Grade ‐ A letter, number, or other symbol assigned to summarize the quality of student performance.

Interventions ‐ Interventions are intentional actions that a school team/teacher implements when a student is not reaching grade level standards. The purpose is to accelerate academics performance so that each student meets or exceeds standard.

Mark – The “score” (number or letter) given on any single assessment or performance task.

Modifications – Adaptations to the curriculum that fundamentally alter the grade‐level expectation, but do not fundamentally alter the content standard. Modifications are provided only to students who qualify for special education services or highly capable students. Modifications typically include reducing the cognitive load, methodology or delivery of instructions, and/or the performance criteria.

Modified Grade – A progress indicator that reflects student achievement based on a modified standard.

Modified Standard – An expectation for student performance that is challenging for eligible students, but is less difficult than the grade-level academic achievement standard. Modified academic achievement standards must be aligned with academic content standards for the grade in which a student is enrolled.

Multiple Assessment Opportunities – Evaluations that provide more than one way for students to demonstrate attainment of a standard. Students need to be provided with multiple opportunities to perform in relation to standards. Multiple opportunities to perform can apply to the assessment approach (open ended questions vs. close‐ended questions), format (constructed response, multiple choice), or context (on‐demand vs. over time, the setting, the purpose of the assessment).

On‐demand assessment – Assessment that takes place at a predetermined time and place. On‐ demand refers to a task that is done at a point in time and over a limited amount of time. The task must be doable in the time provided. The MSP, district common unit assessments, SATs, and final exams are examples of on‐demand assessment.

Open‐ended task – A task with no single correct response. Open‐ended tasks are used to determine how students use what they know, how they demonstrate a skill or process, how they communicate what they understand, or how they apply what they know in a new context.

Proficiency – Having or demonstrating an expected degree of knowledge or skill in a particular area.

Standard – The broadest, most general form of learning expectation from which more specific grade level curriculum is developed. Content standards describe what students should know and be able to do.

Standards‐Based – A descriptor that suggests how a clear and direct relationship exists among any combination of activities, materials, instructional processes, and assessments and that all relate to each other and to identified standards.

Standards‐Based Assessments – Assessment in which the criteria for evaluating student achievement are taken directly from the standards.

Standards‐Based System – A system in which the classroom curriculum is designed to help students attain defined standards. There is congruence among a focus on standards, the learning‐teaching activities and materials selected to engage students, the assessments used to document student attainment of the standards and the grading and reporting of student attainment of these standards.

Summative Assessment – A culminating assessment at the end of an instructional period that measures the extent a student has learned a specific set of content or skills.

Zeroes – A score that implies the total absence of learning. Missed tests, scores attained by cheating, or assignments not handed in do not offer data about level of learning.

Standards-Based Grading Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of Standards-Based Grading?

  • Allows students, teachers, and parents/guardians to gauge each student’s progress per standard
  • Represents more accurate representation of student’s knowledge and skills at each quarter/trimester
  • Provides multiple chances for students to show what they know
  • Doesn’t penalize students for mistakes made during the learning process
  • Increase consistency in grading policies and criteria across teachers and schools

What are the main differences from traditional grading?

  • Standards-based grading focuses on a student’s progress toward meeting grade level standards rather than a simple accumulation of points.
  • It uses a number scale (4, 3, 2, 1, IE) rather than a letter scale (A, B, C, D, F).
  • To earn the highest mark of a “4”, students must demonstrate exceptional understanding of the standard, not just general understanding of the standard, requiring students to show they can think more deeply and tackle more complex problems on their assignments.
  • It is less subject to being influenced by non-academic behaviors, such as tardiness or not speaking up in class.
  • Grades are determined by each student’s ability to meet standard; not on how he or she compares to other students in the class. All students are expected to meet or exceed standard. Course grades are not based “on a curve”; all of the students that meet high standards can receive high grades.

How will this prepare my student for high school and the high school grading system?

Students who experience standards-based grading in K-8 are prepared for high school, even if their high school teachers continue to use a more traditional system, because they are aware of the content knowledge and skills they have achieved, and because they are pushed to become more independent learners who take more responsibility for their learning.

Why aren’t formative assessments or homework assignments part of a student’s grade, why should students take them seriously?

  • Formative assessments and homework allow students to try out what they are learning without having to worry about how it affects their final grade.
  • Teachers create formative assignments to gain insight into levels of student learning and to check for gaps in students’ understanding.
  • Homework is used for practice, to prepare students for upcoming learning, and to reinforce and extend learning, but never to learn material for the first time.
  • When students don’t complete homework, it becomes evident in their Effort scores, formative assessment feedback, and benchmark assessment scores.
  • When these warning signs arise, students can then (with the help of their teachers and parents/guardians) set goals and develop plans to better support their own learning.
  • Under standards-based grading, students are not relieved of the responsibility to participate in ALL aspects of their classes. Frequent independent practice of what is taught in class aids long-term learning.

What does my child need to do to achieve a 4?

  • It is important to understand that a 4 in standards-based grading is not the same as earning an “A” in the traditional system.
  • Renton School District defines a 4 as “Consistently meeting most requirements for exceptional work related to course standards and demonstrating a deep level of knowledge and skill for this point in the school year.” This means that students need to do more than simply have a basic understanding of the course. To earn a “4” students need to demonstrate they have a greater understanding by elaborating on their answers, solving more challenging problems, or showing connections between varying concepts that they have made on their own.
  • Some students may find this aspect of standards-based grading more challenging since “going above and beyond the minimum standard” may take extra effort and persistence.

If my child does everything that is asked of her/him, why doesn’t she/he get a 4 (or 3)?

  • In a Standards-Based Grading system a student’s grade depends on showing mastery of the standards. Completing the assigned work is important to a student’s learning but assignments will be graded based on what a student is able to show what they know.
  • Grades determined in our standards based grading system more accurately show what students know and can do.
  • If a student completes all assigned work, but is unable to demonstrate mastery of the content knowledge, the student will not receive a 4 or 3.

What are the differences between a score of “1”, “IE”, and “NA”?

  • If a student earns a 1, it means that he/she completed and submitted the assessment or assignment; however, their work shows a lack of understanding and little grade-level knowledge. It is important that the student reviews this standard and works with the teacher to identify his/her next steps and receive further instruction to prepare for the next assessment or a retake opportunity.
  • An “IE” is given when there is not enough evidence for a teacher to assess a student’s understanding or progress towards standards. Typically, this means that a student did not turn in or complete an assessment or assignment. If a student earns an IE, they need to speak to their teacher immediately to determine if they can still turn in or redo the assessment in question; or complete an alternate assessment to make-up the grade.
  • The “NA” code is used by a teacher when a standard is not assessed that quarter. Because this is a teacher-decision based on unit pacing, there is no action that needs to be taken on the part of the student. With multiple standards throughout the year, not all are assessed each quarter.