FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is standards-based grading?
- Standards-based grading communicates a student’s progress toward end-of-year learning targets called standards. The purpose of standards-based grading is to identify what a student knows. It is not a traditional averaging of grades and scores which can mask what a student has learned, or not learned.
What do the C, S, and R mean?
- The alphabetic markings (C-S-R) are effort scores and are used to describe the frequency of expected behaviors. The “Consistently” descriptor indicates that your child consistently and independently puts forth an exemplary effort. A “Sometimes” descriptor indicates that your child is putting forth a reasonable, but at times inconsistent effort in that area. If your child receives a “Rarely” descriptor, please look for proactive ways to guide your child in developing skills and strategies in that area and increasing the frequency in which the behavior is demonstrated.
What do the 1, 2, and 3 mean?
- The numerical markings (1-3) indicate your child’s developmental progress toward year-end grade level academic standards. Because learning and skill acquisition is developmental by nature, markings should not be interpreted as static. A marking of 3 indicates complete mastery of a year-end grade level standard or skill. A marking of 2 indicates expected growth toward mastery of a year-end standard or skill. A marking of 1 indicates that your child would benefit from additional support at this point of his/her development.
What should I expect to see on my child's report card if he/she is making adequate progress?
- It is important to remember that scores are based upon end-of-year mastery. This means that a student meeting grade-level learning expectations would receive a ‘2’ in the first and second trimester, and a ‘3’ in the third trimester.
What if a student has met the standard in the first or second trimester?
- If a student earns a ‘3’ in the first or second trimester, then teachers will differentiate instruction to extend and challenge a student at his/her current level. Additional details can be found in the comment sections.
What can I do if my child is not making adequate progress?
- In class, teachers utilize small group and 1:1 instruction to meet the needs of learners who require extra support and practice, but you can look for ways to support your child at home. Please review your child’s report card from a growth mindset perspective knowing that progress is developmental and incremental. Teachers provide ongoing differentiated instruction to meet the varying stages of your child’s development. Take an opportunity at your parent/teacher conference to ask your child’s teacher for strategies to support your child’s development at home.
Prior to receiving a report card, will I get a warning if my student is not making adequate progress?
- Teachers will contact parents of students who are not making adequate progress prior to sending a report card. This gives parents and students an opportunity to address any deficiencies prior to formalized reporting.
Where is the '4' to represent exceeding the standard?
- Bel Aire has elected to eliminate the ‘4’ score which indicated a student is exceeding grade-level standards. The most significant reason for this decision is that many standards cannot be exceeded. A student’s ability to meet a particular standard can not be improved by an ability to meet a different standard. Understanding single-digit addition, for example, cannot be exceeded by also understanding double-digit addition. Double-digit addition is a separate standard.
How can excellence be communicated?
- The new report card now has three areas designated for student comments. These comment sections will contain individualized feedback such as a student working beyond grade level standards.
Will omitting the '4' make Bel Aire students less competitive?
- No. School admission departments evaluate student achievement based upon what is possible at a school. In this sense, including a ‘4’ as a possible score could actually diminish a student’s perceived achievement.
Are other schools moving to standards-based reporting and/or a three-point grading system?
- Yes. Many schools across the country and Marin county are transitioning to standards-based grading. Among other in Marin county, both Mill Valley and Ross have transitioned to standards-based grading, and both utilize a three-point grading system.