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Standards Based Learning

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Standards-Based Learning

As we transform our schools to meet the needs of the future, it is critical we examine the ways we prepare and engage students. Assessments and grades are two ways we provide feedback on student performance. We believe grades should reflect the proficiency of a student in relation to a specific standard. 

“Standards-based learning” is a method of providing feedback that is purely academic in nature and a more accurate reflection of what the student actually knows and can do.

Our goal is for our students grades to be consistent, accurate, meaningful, and supportive of their learning. When teachers use a traditional grading system, a student’s grade may be the culmination of assessments, homework, effort, and behavior. Standards-based learning is being implemented in an effort to reach our goal of providing consistent, accurate, and meaningful feedback that supports student learning.

Standards-based learning addresses the four criteria required of a uniform reporting system:

Accuracy: Basing a student’s grade on assessments of learning allows the teacher to create a clear picture of what the student has learned without the influence of other, non-academic factors.

Consistency: For each outcome, the teacher provides a learning scale, or rubric that describes exactly what the student should know or be able to do.

Meaningful: A meaningful grade is one that clearly communicates the learning that has taken place.

Supportive of Learning: Standards-based learning supports student’s knowledge by focusing on demonstrated proficiency and providing enrichment and intervention as needed. 

What is standards-based grading?

Standards-based grading communicates how students perform 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 those learning targets - as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of the grading period, which can mask what a student has learned or not learned.

Why are we moving to a system of reporting that focuses on standards?

We want to improve student achievement for all students in every classroom. This change to a standards-based learning system comes from the belief that our previous report card does not fully communicate what students are expected to know and be able to do as set forth in the Core Standards. This reporting system will benefit students, teachers, and families. It will allow students to be more aware of what is expected of them. It will provide families with a more detailed outline of expectations in each of the major academic areas.

How is standards-based learning different?

Compared to traditional grading, standards-based learning more accurately represents learning progress towards the proficiency of standards.

Where do I find grades in Powerschool and how do I read them?

Directions for viewing elementary grades in Powerschool on a computer - click here

Directions for viewing elementary grades in Powerschool on a mobile device - click here