Standards-Based Grading Examples

Teachers Demonstrate Power of Standards-Based Grading
Posted on 10/02/2018
Ms. Henry Explains a Student Self-Assessment

The junior high is transitioning to a new model of reporting students’ academic performance that focuses on a student’s understanding of academic concepts and learning behaviors. 

“This is a major paradigm shift,” said Dr. Scott Meek, Northbrook Junior High Principal. “We truly want to focus on learning  -- it’s more than just a letter grade at the top of the paper.”

Three teams of teachers presented classroom examples on implementing standards-based grading to board members and parents during the Board of Education meeting on Sept. 25.

Math teachers Meghan Henry and Mary Claire Seeberg showed examples of student work and how they provide specific feedback to students. By aligning work to standards, students are better able to tackle specific areas that confuse them, Miss Henry said.

Under certain conditions, students can be reassessed on concepts with which they are struggling. Academic progress is measured in levels of proficiency from 1 to 4.

Eighth-grade language arts teachers Michael LaCerra and Jen Moran explained the study habits evaluation and how that impacts a student’s attitude about learning and schoolwork.  Evaluating the Characteristics of a Successful Learner also aligns to evaluations the high school requests of each eighth-grade student, Mr. LaCerra said.

“We want students to become more self-aware of learning habits to foster mindfulness for any learning they pursue,” Mr. LaCerra said. The new reporting includes levels of proficiency from 1 to 3 in the areas of independence and initiative; work habits; and communication and collaboration.

“To create a college-ready student, one of the biggest success indicators is being aware of your own progress,” said Ms. Moran.

Spanish teachers Georgia Gikunoo and Melissa Sen said aligning learning to standards helps students move beyond vocabulary tests to focusing on mastery and progress in learning the language.

“It has opened up a venue for rich conversations. Students self-reflect on their own learning goals,” Ms. Sen said.

Parents at the meeting shared their impressions of the program and how their children have reacted, identifying both benefits they see and concerns they have.

Dr. Meek and Director of Learning Stephanie Smith are continuing to seek feedback from staff, parents and students as the school transitions to this style of academic reporting.

Visit Standards-Based Grading for more information.