The Learning Center uses standards-based grading to assess student progress. A single grade for each subject is not given. Instead, each subject is broken into standards, or skills, and the student receives a mark indicating his or her level of achievement in that standard. The student’s score is not an average of all assessments given throughout the grading period, but is awarded based upon the student’s highest level of proficiency of the standard.
All of the standards are year-long goals. Therefore, as the year progresses and the depth of knowledge of each standard increases, it is possible to see a student’s proficiency level fluctuate. The goal is for every student to have a solid command of each grade level content area by the end of the school year.
Students will also be assessed on 21st Century Skills and Character and Study Habits. 21st Century Skills include Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication. Character and Study Skills include Responsibility, Conduct and Participation.
Why is Standards-Based grading better? It lists the most important skills that the student should learn in each subject area providing parents and students a greater understanding of what the student knows and what areas are in need of improvement. Factors such as effort in class, homework, etc. will now be assessed separately so that parents are informed of their child’s progress in these areas as well. Just as MAP testing provides clear examples of a student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, standards-based grading will provide similar information based on the state’s grade level expectations. Grading and reporting is more consistent as a result.