Standards Based Grading at WMS
Standards Based Grading at Wellington Middle School:
In 2009/2010, Wellington, Preston, Blevins and Webber Middle Schools all began piloting "Standards Based Grading" (SBG), and the other middle schools agreed to move to SBG in 2011-2012.
What is SBG?
1. SBG is a system to measure and communicate students' mastery of well defined essential standards (exactly what it is that we want all students to learn).
2. Assessment scores inform and guide instructional decisions (how we know when each student has acquired the essential knowledge and skills).
3. Time becomes the variable while learning is the constant factor in the design (students are rewarded for learning rather than compliance).
4. SBG differentiates for each student based on the evidence of what they know, understand and are able to do.
5. SBG utilizes research-based best practices for learning interventions and enrichments (what we will do when students have not learned and what we will do when they already know it).
6. SBG provides multiple opportunities for sudents to demonstrate mastery. We are training students to seek mastery from the start but with multiple opportunities for it, they are learning what it looks like and how to reach for it.
7. SBG should promote a classroom environment where students genuinely feel cared about, motivated and encouraged to learn rather than make excuses and quit trying.
8. SBG separates student academic grades from behavior resulting in increased student achievement and improved behavior. Academic scores are listed as a 4, 3, 2, 1 or an I:
2: Partially proficient
1: In progress
I: Insufficient evidence
Work Habits Grading Rubric is 4, 3, 2, 1 in the following areas, which eligibility for athletics is derived:
Prepared to learn
Positive classroom behavior
Participates in learning
SBG is the system that aligns with PSD's commitment to provide rigorous curriculum for all students that meet state and national standards-based requirements. It also aligns with the PSD Ends Policy in relation to preparing students to be 21st century learners. The PSD high schools are studying our model/pilot and are interested in SBG as are the elementary schools. Please note: We are no longer on a semester system. We are now on a four quarter grading system, each quarter is a distinct grade. Nothing has really changed except that there will no longer be semester grades only quarter grades.
Where to find out more? Rick Wormeli's work and books, the work of Doug Reeves and the Colorado Department of Education. The history of SBG in PSD:
*PSD transition to middle school allowed for the conversation to begin
*Colorado middle school visits and visits to middle schools in other states
*2008 Nuts and Bolts National Conference
*2008 National Middle School Conference in Denver-all middle school teachers, administrators and counselors
*Multiple middle school visitations by adminitrators and teachers
*2009 school book studies and SBG articles read and discussed
*Staff training and collaboration on SBG for all pilot schools (April, 2009)
*Rick Wormeli national training (July, 2009)
*Colorado is a Response to Intervention (RtI) and standards based state
*Continued training for all pilot schools, present