Student Mastery

John Hancock Charter School uses SIS to record students’ attendance.

Mastery Connect

How is assessment data used?
Assessments are an essential element of the learning process. Teachers use a variety of assessments to evaluate student learning, including DIBELS, RISE, NWEA et. al, to evaluate student learning, provide specific feedback to students and parents, and make instructional decisions. Data are also used by teachers daily to help them be better teachers and to meet the needs of the students in their class.

​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.

Best regards,
Mrs. Adamic
John Hancock Charter School


We were first exposed to John Handcock Charter School when we moved here 6 years ago my Stepmother in law, she raved about this school as her children had gone here. We applied and were fortunate enough to get into our first year. We have been so impressed since that point. JHCS thinks of kids first. They pay attention to what each individual student needs. They pay attention to their academic needs and use math coursework that better prepares students for higher education. They use music, and art to produce a better well-rounded student. It has been proven time and time again that having music and art is just as important as other education. When the pandemic hit we were blown away by the method in which they handled themselves. Each student had completed assignments and daily teaching by the teachers not just handed a chrome book and said good luck. JHCS focuses on getting and maintaining phenomenal teachers. From Kindergarten on every teacher we have had is amazing. JHCS keeps recess this is so big in a world where kids need movement along with education they do not sacrifice exercise instead they incorporate it and use it. They work to teach students in a way that makes them excited to go to school. The teachers are frequently communicating what is going on with my individual students, and what is going on in the school overall. My older children that have graduated from JHCS have lifelong friendships that have continued despite going to a different school because JHCS encourages kindness. They also focus on mental health to help students progress and move forward. They are truly learning lifelong healthy skills.

Stacy Hawks

I have had kids at John Hancock Charter School for 12 years now, and I have been consistently impressed with the high levels of caring and dedication from everyone there. The teachers truly care about the kids in their classes and ensuring their success. The small size creates a real feeling of family at the school, and my kids feel like they know their teachers before they even step into their classrooms. The curriculum at John Hancock goes well beyond reading and math. My kids are conversant with ancient and modern history, principles of science, art history, and even music. John Hancock is a school that has high expectations for kids, and then gives them the tools to meet those expectations.

Erika Nelson

John Hancock Charter School has been the best school for my kids! This is the eighth year I've been at JHCS and I can say that no other elementary school- charter or not- can provide a better experience, a better team of teachers and staff members, a better curriculum for their students, or a better environment to learn in. Those who are lucky enough to get into John Hancock Charter School feel as if they are part of one big family. The director and Principal of the school- for fifteen years now- has done an outstanding job making John Hancock Charter School one of the best schools in all of Utah!

Jeanie C.

I love John Hancock Charter School. They have amazing teachers and staff, small class sizes, and really inspire a love for learning. While not the most aesthetically pleasing campus, they use all resources and money to go directly back to help the students which is obviously most important.

Jess P.

Joining JHCS has been one of the best decisions my husband and I have made for our children. They are receiving a top notch education and are growing and flourishing in their schoolwork. What doesn’t show up in their test scores are the extras that make JHCS stellar. The emphasis on a growth mindset and the encouragement to learn beyond the classroom will help them throughout their entire lives.

Nicole M., Parent