Standards Based Grading and Assessments

We are moving to a standards-based reporting system that communicates how well a student is performing in relation to grade level standards. Student performance on individual standards isn’t combined into a single grade, so the report for one class includes multiple standards for that subject area. State standards are shown along with the students’ level of mastery at the end of the grading period. Rather than receiving arbitrary points or letter grades, students must demonstrate proficiency on learning standards. Students aren’t penalized for mistakes made while they are learning and are encouraged not to give up until they reach their goals. This provides a better understanding of student strengths and needs.

We will also report on “skills of successful learners” which represent student behaviors that lead to success as a student and contribute to future success in educational, career, and personal pursuits. At the middle school level, we report on skills such as daily work, collaboration and respect.

Standards-based grading shifts the focus from earning points to learning. Rather than worrying about how much an assignment is worth, or if it is going to be graded, students focus on learning and growth. Students also have a clearer understanding of which concepts they still need to work on and which ones they have mastered. Freeing students from the pressure of receiving a certain letter grade allows them to take more educational risks, which deepens their learning experience. The learning progression is shown below. The target is to have students reach the grade level standard, which is represented by the number 3.



Here is an example how one class would appear on the report card:


Language Arts StandardsSem 1Sem 2
Cites several pieces of textual evidence in both literary and informational text23
Determines a theme or central idea of a text3
Analyzes how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of literary characters34
Determines or clarifies the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words2

Language Arts Skills of Successful Learners :

++ Consistently
+ Sometimes
– Rarely

Sem 1Sem 2
Completes daily work+++
Collaborates with classmates-+
Respects self and others++


Below is a list of classes that will be using standards-based reporting this year. All other areas will use traditional reporting for the current year and are working on moving to standards-based reporting in the upcoming years.


Grade RaleighNSSubject
K-8xK-8 Visual Arts 
K-8xxReading & Language Arts
KxSocial Studies