Newton-Conover City Schools is changing our way of grading in the elementary schools this school year. Our school system held a committee meeting to discuss the pros and cons of using standards based grading. The decision was made to move away from the traditional way of grading to using standards based grading in grades K-5 in order to provide a clearer picture of what a student masters during the school year.
Standards-based grading measures your student’s mastery of the essential standards for a class, or how well your student understands the material in class. At the beginning of every unit, the teacher will break down the standards for the unit into smaller objectives. During the unit, the student is assessed to see if they truly know the material using a variety of assessments, such as traditional pencil-and-paper tests, projects, discussions, or reports.
Grades will be based on all of the evidence the teacher collects demonstrating mastery of the essential standards. The goal of this approach is to provide the teacher, student, and parent as accurate a picture as possible of the student’s learning and to encourage a dialogue about how the student can master the material for the class. In particular, because learning is a process that takes place over time, each assessment will provide feedback for the student about what to focus on next. If the new assessments shows a higher level of mastery, that new score replaces the old one.
Newton-Conover will use the Level 1-5 (shown below) to show mastery on report cards. To find out more about standards based grading, please contact your child’s elementary school.