The Standards listed on the 6th grade reporting system are for teachers and administration to use in regards to Assessments. They do not give a student or parent the quality information needed to see how a student is doing on daily assignments, quizzes, or tests. The original Skyward system that the 7th-12th grades see, provides the information parents and students need to progress through a quarter successfully. It shows grades for daily assignments, quizzes, and test, and whether work is late or missing.
“S” is far too broad and vague to let the child know anything more than if they passed, or failed. SBG is de-motivating in that it does not reward students to exceed the standard since the goal is to meet the standard.
Based upon the collective assessment from over 30 teachers and concerned parents, identified primary issues are:
1. Sixth grade teachers should not be expected to do both standards and percentage based grading
2. USD 497’s Middle schools should have one and only one grading policy and approach
3. Skyward is USD 497’s primary communication tool for parents-teachers-students. At the 6th grade level it is no longer an effective tool for communicating, since it doesn’t identify daily assignments, test, or quizzes, and if they are late or missing.
4. Staff time and effort needed to accurately assess anchor pieces of work and mark grades for the volume of students at the middle school level. The time needed for the process significantly cuts into time for curriculum planning and teaming.
Given these primary issues, the USD 497 School Board should, for the benefit of our children, abandon the Standard Based Grading policy for the 6th grade and return to the percentage based, averaged grading system currently used for 7th-12th grades.