Impact Areas           Resources

K-8 Standards-Based Grading Initiative Overview

The New Foundations Charter School K-8, has recognized a need for more targeted instruction that allows teachers and staff to better educate the whole child which is inclusive of academics and social and emotional learning. Therefore, by adopting a Standards-Based Grading (SBG) system, we are better able to serve are students with a more tailored education, which in turn will prepare them to be competent and productive members of our community.

SBG is an instructional framework that emphasizes “…standards-based assessment and reporting…as an alternative approach to assessing, tracking, reporting, and grading student learning in a course. (Beatty, 2013)”. SBG embodies three guiding ideas which we have adopted, and they include:

Principle I.Feedback from assessments should be linked to specific learning objectives in order to help students know and target what they need to learn (Marzano & Heflebower, 2011).”

Principle II.Students should be permitted to remedy deficiencies in their learning when an assessment reveals them (Dueck, 2011).”

Principle III. “Standard scores should communicate students’ degree of mastery of the course learning objectives, and not be confounded with other variables such as effort, good behavior, or rate of progress (Brookhart, 2011; O’Connor & Wormeli, 2011).”

In order to adapt these principles to the needs of our school community, the faculty and administration have created the following standards-based grading principles:

  1. Addressing Incomplete Work: We believe that all grading practices should reflect student achievement only and not be influence by outside factors or outlier grades such as a zero.
  2. Types of Assessments: We believe that students are able to demonstrate achievement of standards from participating in diverse types of assessments that allow them to demonstrate skills and knowledge in a variety of ways.
  3. Retest/Revise/Reassess: We believe that students should be given numerous opportunities to demonstrate proficiency of a standard or skill.
  4. Role of Homework: We believe that various types of learning activities and practice aligned to with instructional activities will lead students to high academic proficiency.
  5. Identifying Quality Work and Assignment Expectations: We believe that students should be provided with expectations in a timely manner. Expectations should include a variety of exemplars that are both student-centered, differentiated and aligned to content standards.
  6. Building Relationships with Students and Families: We believe parents play a key role in supporting student achievement of standards.
  7. Social and Emotional Learning: We believe teaching to the whole child is critical to developing strong stewards of the community and building scholars that possess a strong sense of self.

Impact Areas

Power School The SBG components include a new grading feature and additional details on student progress in individual learning standards. Students now receive two types of grades: traditional, which is percentage (%) based; and standards-based grades, which are denoted by this icon: 

The standards-based grade is on a 1-4 scale:

  • 0-69%     =  1
  • 70-79%   =  2
  • 80-89%  =  3
  • 90-100% = 4

Parents are encouraged to ask their student’s teachers about the standards-based grade because it shows which targeted standards and skills the students are working on for each subject. As a parent, this is helpful so that you know which skills your student needs to work on within a given subject area.

Standards-Based Grading Ambassadors: The SBG Ambassadors are a teacher lead group that serves as a voice for the larger instructional community as it relates to standards-based initiatives. Our goal is to serve as a liaison between the SBR group and individual grade/content teams which allows teachers to share concerns, find support and collaborate on instructional strategies. We will also work to be a group that promotes commitment to the SBG initiatives in order to add rigor, consistency and coherency throughout instructional practices school-wide.

Ambassadors include:

Standards-Based Grading Resources

                                                               
Standards-based Reporting Handout                    NFCS K-8 Standards Listing (grade levels)

                                      
SBR Parent Workshop Presentation                         Parent Quick Online Reference Guide

                                                                                 
Formative vs Summative                                       NFCS Math Intervention Kit Resource List (K-8)