Standard Based Grading

Teachers will prepare differentiated lessons, deliver instruction, and evaluate learning based on identified priority standards (targets the Duchesne County School District and PLC teams have outlined as curriculum for a student to learn and master by year’s end).

As students demonstrate growth, teachers will track that learning within the following categories:

  • Level 4: Advanced Learning

  • Level 3: Proficient Learning

  • Level 2: Developing Learning

  • Level 1: Minimal Learning No Attempt/Refusal

Teachers will assess each student’s concept mastery as well as their individual growth with prioritized standards.

Parents and students, as you check grades online, please recognize that while standards based grading relies on growth and mastery levels, PowerSchool converts to percentages. Please see the grade and percentage conversion for each level in the chart below:

  • Level 4: Advanced Learning = 100% or A

  • Level 3: Proficient Learning = 86% or B

  • Level 2: Developing Learning = 74% or C

  • Level 1: Minimal Learning = 60% or D No Attempt/Refusal = 0% or F

To gain a greater understanding of Standards Based Grading (SBG), please read the accompanying SBG explanation sheet and/or communicate with your teachers or an administrator.

Standards Based Grading (SBG) is a tool that allows teachers and staff to identify and help close gaps in student learning. This tool helps develop a student’s learning at a deeper level. It helps us indicate what parts of a curriculum a student doesn’t understand. Teachers are able to more accurately assess student learning when it comes to curriculum standards. Standards based grading has a series of levels that a student will be expected to strive to achieve. If the student does not achieve these levels, then the teacher is able to identify where the learning has stopped. The teacher can then guide students and be able to place additional emphasis where the student needs help. This differs from traditional based grading in the fact that it deals with percentages and selecting talent. In traditional grading teachers would stand, lecture, and rely on the students to pass a series of assessments based upon a certain percentage.

SBG is similar to the good old-fashioned video game in the sense that as a student “levels up,” the student’s knowledge will continue to increase. It’s not common to use video games as an analogy when talking about education grading but it fits perfectly. The player of the video game knows exactly what he or she has to do. That is exactly how standards based grading is outlined. The students are issued a baseline or pre-test that allows a teacher to understand at what knowledge level each student exists and what the student will need pertaining to further instruction. From there the teacher and student work together to achieve proficiency of the standard. This grading practice is based upon what a student does know and does not penalize a student for what they do not know. As a student realizes what he or she needs to know, they become self-motivated to continue to climb higher on the proficiency “level up” scale. Once a teacher identifies a weakness in the student’s learning, then the teacher is able to intervene and help the student become proficient in the standard of that certain content curriculum.

The standard and proficiency scale is clearly outlined so students know exactly what they need to do to accomplish and achieve proficiency. For example, while studying karate the student knows exactly what the karate instructor would have them do to obtain a certain color of belt. Standards based grading is similar in the fact that the teacher sets clear expectations. This is opposite to traditional grading in regards to standing, delivering instruction, and expecting a student to retain all information covered in class that they would need to pass the course.

When talking about reporting grades to students and parents, standards based grading uses integers as symbols to calculate grades rather than percentages. These integers can be explained as follows: 0 = No attempt/Refusal, 1 = Minimal, 2 = Developing, 3 = Proficient, 4 = Advanced. This scale helps teachers and students know exactly where their knowledge falls on the proficiency scale for a set curriculum. This allows for greater accuracy because there are less opportunities to misclassify a student’s grade. For instance, in a 100-point scale, there are 101 different classification categories. In standards based grading we use a grade scale of 0 to 4 which allows more accuracy by diminishing misclassification opportunities.

In conclusion, the student’s grades are based off of the standards they are required to learn/complete. The SBG system allows us to locate where students are on the scale and help move them to the next level in an effort to assist them in reaching proficiency. SBG enables us to track student learning while students develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success.