How are Approaches to Learning and Citizenship Grades Reported?
Grades 3rd though 8th
Seek * Persist * Excel * Love * Serve
This past week, our parent meeting was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Hermine. At this parent meeting, parents would have gained a better understanding of the second phase of Sacred Heart's Standards Based Grading from myself and Christina Badman. Christina and I will move our presentation to parent conference day in October, but this letter will help build background knowledge to the new process this academic year.
Last year, many of you attended the Standards Based Grading presentation phase 1 that I offered at the parent meetings, to define what Standards Based Grading is: Standards Based Grading Video 1 (the following video was shared at the meeting and in an email that described our transition to standards based grading in 2015). Our Diocese is intentionally moving towards providing a more accurate way of reporting student grades by placing an emphasis on what your scholar knows and is able to do.
For the past two years, your child's report card, for grades 3rd to 8th grade, has reported an Approaches to Learning grade and aCitizenship grade. This year our purpose remains the same, to separate student behaviors from student knowledge, but theapproach from our Sacred Heart administration and teachers has become more intentional.
Teachers and I collaborated over the summer to create a system that provides frequent and formative feedback to support parents and students understanding of this grading transition. This year, teachers in grades 3rd though 8th, will be sending home two formative grades on two separate cards: approaches to learning card and citizenship card. (3rd to 5th has already gone home, 6th to 8th will go home this week). These two cards must be reviewed with the scholar and signed by the parent. These cards will go home four times each quarter, and the four grades will be averaged for a final approaches to learning gradeand citizenship grade on the report card.
Sacred Heart's core values of seek, persist, excel, love and serve are the values we aspire our scholars to act on, and they are the anchor for the descriptors within the two rubrics. The rubrics for approaches to learning and citizenship are described directly on the card and in our school handbook. Forapproaches to learning, the categories are responsibility, organization, communication & collaboration, and personal initiative & self-reflection. For citizenship, the expectations are in the realm of responsibility and respect for school rules, teachers, peers and our environment of learning. Both grades have the same scale:
An important feature of this scale is that we want all students to receive a 3. A grade of a 3 means that they are meeting the expectation and doing well. The 4 is in place because we believe it is essential to recognize the areas a scholar goes above and beyond! The 4 is an example of our motto, Ancora Imparo, which means we are always learning. These two rubrics help achieve our grading goal that an academic grade on the report card is a representation of the academic skills and academic knowledge of your scholar for specific content areas.
- 4 = exceeding expectations
- 3 = meeting expectations
- 2 = progressing towards expectation
- 1 = needs improvement.
Please watch this second video on Standards Based Grading to continue to develop a clearer understanding of our approaches to learning
and conduct grades
: Standards Based Grading Video 2
. Christina Badman, Notre Dame ACE Academies Regional Director of School Culture, and I will be presenting this information on parent conference night in October, and we will be available for clarifying questions.
Academic grades are only calculated by formative and summative assignments. In general, formative assignments may be classwork or quizzes, and summative assignments will be tests and projects. A formative grade counts less towards the overall grade because it reflects a scholar's progress towards mastery of a standard. A summative grade counts more because it is expected that a child has met the mastery of a standard. Please note, as you sign into the parent portal (rediker) to view your child's grades, a teacher may have placed homework grades and citizenship grades within the grade-book. However, homework and citizenship grades are not counted in the final academic grade; these grades are reported in theapproaches to learning and citizenship portion of the report card. The idea of reporting these grades in the grade-book, is strictly for you and the teacher to view their overall progress of the scholar.
These intentional communication changes with a formative report that goes home every two weeks is our method of helping parents and students understand the overall reporting of responsibility and behavior in a standards based report card. We are all thrilled at Sacred Heart for the intentional progress we are making at transitioning to a new report card that is accurate of a scholar's learning, and a true reflection of how our community can support each child towards our goals of College and Heaven.