Standards Based Grading Information for Families

Standards Based Grading

What Is Standards-Based Grading?

Learning is a process that takes place over time and requires active participation by all those associated with that process – teacher (providing feedback), scholar (opportunities to practice and present knowledge/skills), and parent (supporting the process). Standards-based grading creates a scenario in which all parties are able to engage in pointed and meaningful conversations about that learning process. As learning is reflected, instruction adapts to support continued growth.

  • Standards-based grading focuses a scholar’s learning on the essential standards for a class, or how well the scholar understands and can apply the key material in class.
  • At the beginning of each interim period and/or unit, a teacher will break down the content standards for that interim period/instructional unit into smaller components and criteria.
  • During the interim period/unit, the scholar receives feedback on frequent formative assessments to gauge their understanding and application of the material.
  • These assessments may be administered by variety formats, such as traditional pencil-and-paper tests, online assessments, projects, discussions, reports, or any other format by which learning may be evidenced.
  • At various points throughout the unit (every 2-3 weeks of instruction), scholars will participate in short cycle assessments, which will demonstrate a scholar’s mastery of the essential content standards – ultimately, what they KNOW and what they can DO.
  • The goal of standards-based grading is to provide the most accurate picture of scholar learning.
  • Constant assessment will track scholar growth, provide immediate and clear feedback, and identify any needs for either intervention or enrichment

Standards-based grading and reporting provides scholars, parents, and teachers with more detailed information about scholar learning than the traditional system of grading. Scores directly reflect scholar growth and proficiency according to academic standards (content and/or skills) and separate non-academic factors such as effort, participation, punctuality, preparation, and work completion, which are still assessed, but through more appropriate methods.

The parent manual below provides a complete overview of how The Lorain City School District will be implementing standards-based grading in PreK-8 grades during the 2018-19 school year.  Hard copies of the parent handbook will be made available in late October.


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