Standards-Based Learning

Oskaloosa Grading and Reporting

Teaching and learning at Oskaloosa is based on identified standards. Rather than a reflection of student behavior, grades are a reflection of what the student knows and is able to do as applied to a scale/rubric of proficiency, based on the Iowa Core standard.  

Students and parents receive feedback on meeting proficiency scale/rubric targets. Feedback that is specific, targeted, and timely is critical for student learning. Teachers adjust instruction and students adjust their learning based on checks for understanding along the way to meeting and exceeding proficiency.

Students will have multiple and varied attempts to demonstrate learning. Teachers honor the learning progression of students by providing multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency.

Teacher feedback provided to students between learning demonstration opportunities allows students to build on what they have already demonstrated while progressing to successfully meet and exceed proficiency.

The purpose of giving multiple and varied attempts to demonstrate learning is to show the student’s understanding of that standard. As such, more recent evidence of student’s attainment of the standard will have a higher impact on the overall grade for that standard. Once a student has shown consistent proficiency, they will have mastered the standard.

Communication and consistency are crucial. Feedback from the teacher is vital to the student’s understanding of their progress in demonstrating proficiency of the standard. Communication from the teacher about that progress means that the student is never confused about where they are in their learning progression. Clear and consistent communication about the student’s level of proficiency also helps parents understand the skills their student has developed, as well as areas where they need to improve in order to meet the standard and, in so doing, improve the overall grade. 

In grades kindergarten through 6, students will be receiving standards-based grades.  This means the report card will show the level of proficiency the student attained on reported standards for that grading period.  These students will not receive a traditional letter grade.

However, in grades 7 through 12 we will continue to use traditional letter grades on report cards.  These letter grades will be informed based upon the level of proficiency the student attained on the standards for that grading period.  This type of grading is called standards-referenced grading because the grade is informed by and refers back to the student’s levels of proficiency on the standards taught in the course.  In this way, communication about a student’s proficiency on prioritized standards will provide clarity on how they earned the letter grade for the class.

Proficiency Scales

A proficiency scale clearly outlines the learning progression on a priority standard a student is expected to learn.  It gives clarity and transparency on the types of learning activities, assessment questions, performance tasks, and so on that would show where a student is on this learning progression.  Scales are used with students in instruction, goal setting, and tracking of progress alongside project specific rubrics and assessments for grading.  The template below gives what information is included in the proficiency scales teachers use with students.

Proficiency Scale Descriptors

1.0 “Beginning” (BG).   The student is beginning to demonstrate a limited understanding of the simpler and target content, details, vocabulary, concepts, procedures, processes, and skills.

2.0 “Progressing” (PG). The student is progressing toward the target grade-level standard by demonstrating an understanding of simpler content, details, vocabulary, concepts, procedures, processes, and skills.

3.0 “Meets Expectations” (MET).  The student meets the expectations of the target grade-level standard.

4.0 “Advanced” (ADV). The student demonstrates excellence in the grade-level standard by transferring learning to more complex content including deeper conceptual understanding and applications that go beyond the expectations of the standard.

NA: "Not assessed this Trimester"  The standard has had no instruction during the grading period. 
IP: "In Progress" The standard has been taught but not assessed with enough evidence to give a valid and reliable score for the standard. 
IE: "Insufficient Evidence" There is not enough evidence to score a student on a specific standard due to a lack of evidence provided by the student. This typically is due to student absences or missing student work.
INC: "Incomplete" The student has not completed the necessary work to be given a grade at this time.



If you have questions about standards grading please contact:

Angie Hanson

Curriculum Director