Middle School Grading Practices & Beliefs

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Philosophy

In District 100, we believe student achievement occurs through clearly defined standards and authentic learning opportunities. The district strives to provide accurate, meaningful and timely feedback to both students and parents throughout the learning process.

Proficiency-based grading communicates how students perform on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of proficiency-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.

Proficiency-based grading reports what students should know and be able to do within each content area at each grade level. The real-time monitoring of student performance reflects a more accurate picture of student achievement. Other reasons for proficiency-based grading include:

  • Current methods of grading do not accurately indicate what a student knows and is able to do.
  • Students will be able to explain what they learned or did not learn rather than recite a percentage.
  • It can benefit all learners - students who struggle and accelerated learners.
  • Parents are provided information on specific standards while receiving meaningful feedback

Scale Scores Indicate the Current Level of Performance

In the Belvidere School District, each learning outcome or prioritized standard has a clear definition and expectations for student performance. The four levels are (1) Partial Knowledge with Assistance, (2) Approaching, (3) Mastery, and (4) Exceeds. The scales scores allow teachers to clarify the learning goal and the criteria to reach each level. Scales allow students to self-assess and get specific feedback about strengths and areas for growth. The goal is for all students to reach at least the level of mastery, a score of 3, for each prioritized standard.

Course Long Outcomes

Learning standards are designed to identify what a student should know and be able to do by the end of the school-year. Scores in eSchool and on progress reports will be based on a student’s most-recent performance. Although report cards will be sent home each quarter, learning will continue across the entire course.

Habits of Work

We are committed to helping students develop personally and academically. Each course will provide feedback to students on two or three of the six middle school Habits of Work: Prepared & Organized, Perseverance, Work Quality, Self-Direction, Respect, and Teamwork.

Overall Course Progress

Each quarter you will receive a progress report which includes the current level of performance demonstrated by your student. There will not be an overall letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) for each course, but the teacher will indicate if the student is making Appropriate Growth (AG) or Insufficient Growth (IG) based on the course pace and student

Report Card Blank Scores

There will be standards which a course has not yet been able to work on before a report card is provided at the quarter. When a standard has not yet been taught or assessed, the score will remain blank to indicate the standard has not been addressed.