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Grading Practices FAQ

​Why are you changing how you grade?

Current grading systems have been in place over 100 years and new research in the area of grading suggests schools should adjust their systems to better serve students and more accurately reflect their learning.

​What is the goal of this change?

Ultimately, we believe grades should be accurate, transparent, resistant to bias, and motivational to students. The current system is set up in a way contradictory to those goals. We want students and families to clearly understand why a student received a grade and trust that it is an accurate portrayal of their academic abilities.

The new model will have secondary teachers grading against criteria rather than a percentage-based system. In this setup, a student’s work would be examined against grade-level standards and reported in a manner that is clear where a student stands against that bar.

​How will this differ from traditional grading?

In traditional grading, a student’s work is graded out of 100% with the number of points correct divided by total points possible as a measure of capturing achievement. We aim to instead look at the entire body of evidence of student achievement and compare it against set standards for each grade level. That then would be reported to you and your student on a scale that all classrooms would be using.

​What will this look like in the gradebook?

The new system, which has already been implemented by many classrooms and schools across the district, will use a 0-4 system. Each number will have a corresponding meaning that will communicate to both you and your student how they performed on a particular assignment and in the class overall.

​What will each of the numbers in the 4-point scale represent?

A score of (4) would indicate that a student exceeds a standard by consistently demonstrating an advanced level of understanding and/or the ability to apply their knowledge at a higher level.

A score of (3) would indicate that a student has independently achieved the standard. The student demonstrates mastery of the standard.

A score of (2) would indicate that a student is developing an understanding of a standard, but still may need additional instruction and/or support.

A score of (1) would indicate minimal understanding of a standard. The student shows limited evidence of understanding the standard.

A score of (0) would indicate there is no evidence of understanding because the assignment or test is missing or incomplete.

Shown is a simpler form, the 0-4 scale would be represented with the following descriptors,

4 - Advanced
3 - Proficient
2 - Developing
1 - Beginning
0 - Missing/Incomplete

​Will my child still get a letter grade?

Yes, all students will still receive a letter grade and a GPA. We acknowledge the common understanding around the A-F letter system and its role in college admission and scholarship applications.

A student's individual standard scores will be aggregated into an overall number on the 0-4 scale with a conversion into a letter grade.

​How will I know if my child needs help?

Receiving a 0, 1 or 2 on assignment or test can be a sign that a student needs extra support in the areas where they are receiving low marks. A 3 or 4 would signal that your student’s work is at or above grade level.

​Is it possible to achieve a grade of 4?

Yes, it is. However, a score of 4 indicates performance that is consistently above what is expected for mastery. Level 4 work would indicate a much deeper understanding of a standard, the ability to apply that knowledge, make connections and extend learning beyond the targeted goal.

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