Standard Based Grading for Parents

Windom Area Schools will transition to standards-based grading in the 2017-18 school year. Standards-based grading means student performance is evaluated based on standards that have clearly defined levels of proficiency. Standards are what students should know and be able to do in a certain grade level or content area. Standards are the “knowledge goals” and “skill goals” we want students to achieve as a result of instruction and experiences at school. Proficiency levels define how well a student is advancing toward meeting state standards and grade-level mastery. As noted on the Minnesota Department of Education’s website, “The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards are the statewide expectations for student achievement in K-12 public schools. Districts are required to put state standards into place so all students have access to high-quality content and instruction.”

Why change?

Our goal is that grades communicate student learning accurately, consistently, and meaningfully. Traditional grading practices often include behavioral factors into the overall grade such as effort, neatness, or timeliness. This can give a distorted picture of performance. In standards-based grading, behaviors are reported separately from the academic performance.  A standards-based system teaches and assesses student learning using common learning targets. The goal is to describe how students are progressing toward meeting the expectations of state standards and to provide clear, effective feedback about student learning.

Need more information?

If you are interested in learning more about our standards-based grading practices, please visit our district website for more information. Our teachers and administration would be happy to visit with you as well.

A helpful graphic: