- Standards-Based Versus Traditional Grading
- Academic Profess Indicators
- Student Evidence to Determine Progress
- Related Arts
- Social Development, Work Habits, and Qualities of a Learner
- Grading and Growth Report Communication
- Standards-Based Reporting and Special Populations
- Promotion Guidelines
- For Additional Information
Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, Milford School District shifted to a standards-based grading approach in kindergarten and is now making the shift as our students progress into first grade. The purpose of a standards-based student growth report is to communicate a learner’s proficiency level as they progress toward meeting the defined learning standards. Learning standards are the nationally established academic skills your child should know or be able to do by the end of the school year.
The student growth report fully aligns with the State of Delaware approved Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, the Delaware Social Studies State Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. The indicators on the growth report do not reflect every standard taught and assessed throughout the school year. Rather, they reflect mastery levels of prioritized standards that are considered necessary for future academic success.
align with current state standards;
reflect student progress towards grade-level standards;
be unique to the grade and the standards of that grade; and
provide more objective evaluation according to consistent grade-level standards.
Research supports standards-based grading and reporting as a basis of communication that will help students learn more effectively through better feedback for teachers, students, and families. The Standards-Based Growth Report is only one component in Milford School District’s effort to improve learning outcomes for every student in every classroom.
Standards-based grading communicates how students perform on a clearly defined set of learning targets called standards. Standards-based grading aims to identify what a student knows or can do in relation to pre-established learning targets.
Unlike the traditional grading system, 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 when encountering new material at the beginning of a unit may still be able to demonstrate mastery of key content and concepts by the end of the marking period or by the end of the school year.
Standards-based grading gives students the practice they need and more than one opportunity to demonstrate success. It uses assessments based on prioritized standards and multiple scores per student, which reflect a student’s ability at a specific moment in time.
In contrast, in the traditional grading system, a student’s performance for an entire marking period is averaged together and typically involves a single overall letter or numerical grade. As an example, early quiz scores that may have been low would be averaged together with more proficient performance later in the course, resulting in a lower overall grade than the student’s current performance indicates. The traditional grading system does not always convey precise information regarding student growth.
As students work toward achieving grade-level expectations in all areas - both academic and non-academic - teachers carefully consider the following in determining progress:
A collection of work over time;
Daily written and/or oral tasks;
Application of skills; and
Periodic formative and summative assessments (quizzes, tests, project-based performance tasks).
Related Arts will be assessed using the same performance level indicators as academic content, as described above. Due to the rotating schedule, students are assessed twice per school year in related arts. This allows for a more thorough and genuine reflection of a student’s progress.
|Kindergarten Related Arts
|First Grade Related Arts
Student success depends on more than the achievement of standards. Students are also observed in other areas, such as being self-directed learners, producing quality work, working collaboratively with peers, self-regulating their emotions, and being respectful to themselves and others, all of which are traits of successful students. These Qualities of a Learner will be reflected using individual comments from your child’s teacher.
|Kindergarten Orientation - August
|MP 1 - November
|Open Houses - September
|MP 2 - January
|Conferences - October
|MP 3 - April
|Conferences - September-June by request
|MP 4 - June
Phone calls and emails
Samples of student work
District, school, and teacher websites
Newsletters and MSD Alerts
District and school events
Parent organization meetings
Student promotion is dependent upon several factors. The promotion of each student will be determined individually, and the decision to promote a student is made on the basis of multiple factors, including progress toward meeting English language arts, math, social studies, science standards, and school attendance. When a student does not meet the promotion criteria, the student will be retained or assigned remediation through interventions at the school administration’s discretion. In consultation with a student support team, the school administration may retain/place/promote a student under certain circumstances, including excessive absences.