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Why Does Standards Based Grading and Achievement Work?

  • The West Branch Community School District has developed a clear academic vision that expresses the mission of preparing all students for 21st Century skills success and postsecondary education and careers without a need for post-secondary remediation.
  • Our teachers and principals are promoting ongoing instructional improvement processes by collaborating to ensure our curriculum is appropriately aligned to Iowa Core and Common Core Standards, postsecondary and career readiness standards and is articulated between grades and among courses within grade levels.
  • Our elementary and middle school teachers are developing a common understanding of how standards are used to develop and assess explicit student learning for both academic content and essential skills.
  • District views standards-based and standards-referenced grading as the building blocks for building a competency-based, personalized learning delivery system.
  • Standards-based and standards-referenced grading practices focus on the learning.
  • Standards-Based practices focus on what each student knows and is able to do.

What are the Risks of Avoiding the Uses of Standards-Based and/or Competency-Based Learning model?

  • The number and the overall percentage of students prepared for postsecondary education success, without remediation at the postsecondary level, will likely remain stagnant.
  • The number and overall percentage of students prepared to meet changing global and U.S. workforce needs, skills and realities will likely remain stagnate.
  • The number and percentage of students getting meaningful feedback on “what they actually know” and “are able to do” will be limited.
  • Traditional grading limits student reflection on their actual understanding and limits the need to be able to demonstrate that knowledge.
  • Less likelihood for being able to accommodate evidence-based learning reforms; personalized learning aspects, project-based learning and critical thinking application processes in the future.
  • Limited need for professional growth in 21st Century teaching practices leaving our staff and students further behind for the global preparation challenges ahead.

Standard Descriptors Grades 5-12Process Standard Descriptors Grades 5-12Hoover Elementary Report Card Process Standards

To learn more about Standards-Based Grading, please view the information letter below.

A Parent’s Guide to PowerSchool – Middle School

A Parent’s Guide to PowerSchool – High School

Curriculum Grading Policy 602.04A

Standard based grading FAQs

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the West Branch Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have any questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Jessica Burger, Elementary Principal, 148 North Oliphant St., West Branch, IA 52358, 319-643-7211, jburger@west-branch.k12.ia.us

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