Grading & Assessment
When learning something new, such as riding a bike, it helps to see someone put that new skill or concept into action, then try it out, gain experience and receive feedback, learn from it, and try again. Working through a collaborative process that allows for students to improve and make progress helps a student develop a deeper understanding of the skill, concept, or power standard.
Eastern Carver County Schools works to develop teaching strategies that encourage students to take more active roles, such as this, in their learning. Following a collaborative learning process, teachers assess student learning using a learning target. This assessment gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and also informs the teacher of the student’s level of learning. At this point, if students are not meeting the learning target goal, teachers continue to support the student’s learning through a variety of instructional strategies and interventions, which may or may not conclude in an opportunity for a reassessment or participate in another opportunity to demonstrate learning. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Grading Parameters for Grades K-5
Families can see the academic progress of their elementary student through Infinite Campus Parent Portal. Within a course, there will be anywhere from one to several power standards that are reported in the Grades area of Campus Portal. Power standards are the highest priority or most important standards students will learn in a course.
Report cards are posted in Campus Portal at the end of the school year.
Grading and reporting practices should be used to support learners. At Eastern Carver County Schools, we do this by using practices that reflect academic achievement and learning progress. This is foundational to personalized learning. What happens in the classroom, and in gradebooks, is centered around creating relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for all students.
Grades reflect student learning, which is the focus of our work. Our grading system shows what a student has learned, and can be used by students to reflect on what they’ve learned and where they can continue to grow. No two learners are alike, and our approach to grading supports ongoing learning, when necessary, through multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of a subject.
Students have multiple learning opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge. Teachers will deliver feedback so that learners know their current level of understanding and where there is room for growth. Working together, teachers and students identify gaps in learning, and develop a plan for how best to demonstrate when those gaps have been closed. For some students, this might be a traditional retake, for others a different method of assessment.
Grading Parameters for Grades 6-12
Eastern Carver County Schools is committed to ensuring that all students reach their personal best. Guidelines concerning how and what we grade are in place at both the high school and middle school levels to support that mission. For the past several years, our teachers and leaders have engaged in continuous improvement to increase the efficacy and consistency of our grading practices. We are driven by the following key assumptions:
Grades should accurately reflect how much a student has learned in relation to course standards.
The calculation of grades should be clearly understood by parents and students.
Students differ from each other in many ways. Grading practices should accommodate for, and capitalize on, those differences.
Productive learning behaviors (such as work completion, self-advocacy, and attention to detail) support high levels of learning, but they do not guarantee it.
These assumptions have been the driving force behind a number of grading changes that have been implemented across the state and in ECCS over the past few years, specifically:
Grades based mostly or entirely on learning that is demonstrated by way of tests and projects (or, “performance” assignments), with daily work and homework (i.e. “practice”) accounting for much less or none of the final grade calculation.
Opportunities to retake tests and redo projects and essays to ensure that students master the material.
Scoring late work on its quality and not deducting for time, knowing that some students may take longer to master the material.
No extra credit or points for participation.
No two learners are alike, and so how students reach those standards may not look the same, either. Personalized learning strengthens the relationship between teacher and student as they work together to achieve learning goals. Eastern Carver County Schools uses the personalized learning star to highlight learning best practices. Eastern Carver County Schools believes that each student needs access to the resources and tools to be successful and meet those standards. Our work around personalized learning strives to ensure all students’ interests and identities are recognized, embraced, and celebrated through this learning journey. This helps create engaging, equitable, and relevant learning experiences for all students.