Grading at Grandview
Grandview Teachers Continue to Implement New Grading Practices
Grandview staff has been researching what is the industry best practice when it comes to grading. We began the process last year and continue our work this year. Our goal in the revised policy and practice is to have each student’s academic grades reflect what s/he knows based on Westonka, state, and national academic standards. Our new policy also is rooted in the belief that intelligence is not fixed but is flexible and can improve as a result of extended effort and dedication. The work by Carol Dweck supports that students need to know their effort makes a difference. Important beliefs we have that led to these changes are:
- Learning doesn’t happen for all kids at the same time. Some kids need additional time and support.
- No grading system should be set up in a way that there is no hope of passing and/or meeting learning targets. Failure should be a last option and reserved only for students who refuse to do the work.
- Student behaviors necessary for success such as perseverance and punctuality are key to success in middle school and beyond and therefore are reported to parents. They are not, however, more important than learning.
- The responsibility to learn is shared by the teacher and the student.
What should be included in the grade?
- The primary purpose of grading is to report the academic achievement of students.
- Only assessments that measure what a student knows and can do shall be included in calculating the grade. Please remember, assessments include things like projects, multi‐media, papers, and presentations.
How are grades going to be more consistent?
- There is a universal percentage scale for grades 5-7 and a universal breakdown of how a grade is calculated. 20% of the grade will be for Formative Assessments (practice) and 80% will be Summative Assessments.
- Failing Grades- if a student does not pass a Summative assessment, he or she will be required to retake the test after completing a “Relearning Activity.” The goal is to provide additional time and support so the child learn the skills and concepts needed. Teachers will provide options for this with the student. Retakes will happen at a time that may or may not be convenient (before school, after school, Morning Meeting, or during a Reward Day (thus missing the Reward Day) and generally not during class as they would miss out on new learning and fall further behind. Students are given full credit for retakes on summative assessments.
- Improvement Grades- for most assessments, if a student scores a C or above but would like to improve his/her grade, the process is the same and he/she will need to complete a “Relearning Activity” before the retake.
- On occasion retakes or improvements are not logistically possible. In those limited situations, retakes and/or improvement won’t be allowed. Examples of this may be end of term, special event work (field trip, speakers, performance assessments, some lab work.)
- Please keep in mind that middle school grades are different from primary school grades. In most primary schools it is just reported when a student ‘meets’ the standard. This is a ‘C’ in middle school. A’s and B’s are reserved for students who exceed the standard. We continue to research how best to communicate learning through grades as a part of our grading reform.
We appreciate your patience as we continue to learn and improve upon this new grading approach. We encourage you to contact us with any questions and we ask for your support as well help students move from not only being ‘good students’ but also being ‘good learners.’