JHCS - Parent Guide To Standards Based Grading
John Hancock Charter School will be providing feedback about your child’s academic progress rather than traditional letter grades beginning this school year.
At JHCS, we envision a student-friendly report card with clearly defined learning targets aligned to high quality, balanced assessments. Our Standards-Based Report Card seeks to provide meaningful feedback so both students and parents can track student progress toward mastery of key academic concepts, reflect upon strengths and weaknesses, and identify multiple pathways to deeper learning.
What is standards-based grading?
Standards-based grading communicates how students are performing on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of standards-based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to pre-establish learning targets, as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of a grading period, which can mask what a student has learned, or not learned, in a specific course.
How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?
Unlike with traditional grading systems, a standards-based grading system measures a student’s mastery of grade-level standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance. Thus a student who may have struggled at the beginning of a course, when first encountering new material, may still be able to demonstrate mastery of key content/concepts by the end of a grading period or year.
In a traditional grading system, a student’s performance for an entire quarter is averaged together. Early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with more proficient performance later in the course, resulting in a lower overall grade than current performance indicates.
Standards-based report cards separate academic performance from work habits and behavior in order to provide parents a more accurate view of a student’s progress in both academic and behavioral areas. Variables such as effort, participation, timeliness, cooperation, attitude and attendance are reported separately, not as an indicator of a student’s academic performance.
How are my child’s marks determined?
A student’s performance on a series of assessments (both formative and summative) will be used to determine a student’s overall grade in a course. Practice assignments (homework) are just that, practice, and thus should serve primarily as a source of feedback and instructional support for both students and teachers. Scores on practice assignments should not be used as a major component of a student’s academic grade. Teachers may require students to complete all of their practice work prior to allowing them to take, or retake, an assessment.
Will my student still receive teacher comments on their report card? Yes. Individualized feedback is an essential component of standards-based grading. Effective feedback is a more useful source of information than simply assigning a numeric value or letter grade to student work.
What will each of the numbers in the 4 point scale represent?
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 be in need of 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 no evidence of a standard. The student has provided no evidence of understanding the standard.
How should a student/parent view student grades now that the system of A-F has been replaced by a 4 point scale? What is considered to be an A in the new grading system?
You cannot really compare a traditional grading system to standards-based grading. It is like comparing “apples to oranges”. Standards-based grading identifies a standard and indicates whether or not a student is meeting the standard at a given point in the school year. A score of (3) is defined as meeting grade level standards and indicates that a student has demonstrated mastery of the skills that were expected to be learned by that point in the grading period.
If a student receives 1’s all year, does that mean the student will be retained?
Intervention classes are in place at John Hancock Charter School to support learners who are behind in math and reading. If a student receives 1’s or 2’s, it means his/her work is not yet meeting grade level standards. A number of academic interventions will be offered to those students who are struggling to meet the established standards. Grade level retention is not a practice that is generally supported by research.
How will I know if my child needs help?
Receiving a 1, 2, or 0 (insufficient/no evidence) on a grade report/report card can be a sign that a student is in need of extra support in the areas where they are receiving low marks. This is one benefit of a standards-based report card; areas in need of support are clearly evident.
Where else in the area is standards-based grading being implemented?
It is important to note that Alpine School District elementary schools have been utilizing a four point grading system last year and now requires all elementary schools to utilize standard based grading, so it will not be new to the majority of our new families. It is also under study, or already implemented, in a number of school districts in the area, including elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.
We look forward to meeting with you at parent/teacher conferences to provide you the valuable feedback about your child’s progress towards mastery. Our goal is to provide your child the very best educational experience possible and this is a positive step in being able to meet our students’ needs better. Please be sure to sign up now for an appointment with your child’s teacher.
John Hancock Charter School
Teacher Amazon Wish Lists:
Mrs. Orton - Kindergarten
Mrs. Chester - 1st Grade
Mrs. Menssen - 2nd Grade
Mrs. Neider - 3rd Grade
Mrs. Miller - 4th Grade
Mrs. Decker - Library & 4th Grade
Mr. Thompson - 5th Grade
Mrs. Ballard - 6th Grade
Mrs. Siebert - 6th Grade
Ms. Olinghouse - 7th Grade
Ms. Looney - Music
School List - School wish list
September 15, 2017
Dear John Hancock Charter School Parent/Guardian,
The SAGE Summative assessments are secure assessments, designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities described of the Utah Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science. According to R277-404, SAGE Summative assessments are administered at the end of instruction for a SAGE-assessed course. The teacher, school and LEA responsible for instruction of each course is also responsible for ensuring the assessment is administered appropriately.
Three Types of Assessment
Formative Assessment occurs in the short term, as learners are in the process of making meaning of new content and of integrating it into what they already know. Feedback to the learner is immediate (or nearly so), to enable the learner to change his/her behavior and understandings right away. Formative Assessment also enables the teacher to "turn on a dime" and rethink instructional strategies, activities, and content based on student understanding and performance. His/her role here is comparable to that of a coach. Formative Assessment can be as informal as observing the learner's work or as formal as a written test. Formative Assessment is the most powerful type of assessment for improving student understanding and performance.
Interim Assessment takes place occasionally throughout a larger time period. Feedback to the learner is still quick, but may not be immediate. Interim Assessments tend to be more formal, using tools such as projects, written assignments, and tests. The learner should be given the opportunity to re-demonstrate his/her understanding once the feedback has been digested and acted upon. Interim Assessments can help teachers identify gaps in student understanding and instruction, and ideally teachers address these before moving on or by weaving remedies into upcoming instruction and activities.
Summative Assessment takes place at the end of a large chunk of learning, with the results being primarily for the teacher's or school's use. Results may take time to be returned to the student/parent, feedback to the student is usually very limited, and the student usually has no opportunity to be reassessed. Thus, Summative Assessment tends to have the least impact on improving an individual student's understanding or performance. Students/parents can use the results of Summative Assessments to see where the student's performance lies compared to either a standard or to a group of students. Teachers/schools can use these assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses of curriculum and instruction, with improvements affecting the next year's/term's students.
During the month of September and January, the students in our school will be involved in the SAGE Interim Assessments. Typically, the Interim test will take approximately 60 minutes to complete each subject. Interim Assessments will be used to demonstrate student’s growth each year and provide valuable intervention and progress monitoring results to students, parents, and classroom teachers. Also, students who participate in the Interim Assessments will be more familiar with SAGE testing tools which; in turn, will help students achieve higher scores on the end of level SAGE Summative Assessments.
Parents and students should view the SAGE Interim administered this year as a practice test to help students prepare for the testing at the end of the year. During parent teacher conferences, teachers will discuss the individual student scores and show you the resources available to students, parents, and teachers identified in the testing.
If you would like to review the SAGE program or sample questions, parents can access the tests at: http://www.sageportal.org/training-tests. Please take time to access the web page so you can be familiar with computer adaptive assessments.
If you choose to opt out of the SAGE assessments, you can find the Parental Exclusion is on the school’s website and attached to this email. We start interim assessments on Monday, September 18, 2017. If you choose to exempt your child, please sign the exclusion form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. If you have questions I can answer relating to the SAGE assessments please feel free to call me at 801-796-5646. I would be happy to visit with you.
John Hancock Charter School
SAGE Interim Assessment window is Sept. 19- Oct. 6
Oct. 6 - PTO Meeting at 2:15
Oct. 10 - 3rd grade field trip
Oct. 16 - Group picture day and make up picture day
Oct. 19-23rd - Fall Break, NO School
Oct. 24 - 1st grade field trip
Oct. 26 - Assembly
Oct. 27 - End of Term
Oct. 31 - Halloween, school is released at 12:30 pm