For the Grade-er Good

New grading policy has all assignments carrying the same weight


Addison Domino, Reporter

With changes like new furniture and increased school security, change is all the rage this school year. One change in particular is the implementation of a new grading system. It has garnered mixed reviews from students and teachers school-wide.

The system consists of only one grading category where all grades are weighted the same. Teachers are required to have at least four grades in the grade book each nine weeks, which will consist mainly of project grades and assessments in place of tests and quizzes. The system also introduces a new retest policy where students may retest one time for up to a 100% if all of their assigned work for that class is complete.

“We are focused on students having the opportunity to learn and practice new content and skills and receive feedback from teachers without being graded. We refer to this as standards-based learning,” Principal Dr. Edge said.

The idea of standards-based learning is focused on students taking ownership of their learning by knowing what standards they have mastered, and what standards they still need to learn or practice. The decision to pursue this way of learning was made based on administration’s idea of the ideal student learning cycle.

“The ideal student learning cycle allows students to practice and receive feedback prior to being graded,” Dr. Edge said.

Dr. Edge firmly believes that this system, although it will take time and patience, will be beneficial for both students and teachers for many reasons. She says this will allow students to learn and practice in a low stakes environment and provide them with opportunities to get help from teachers and retry prior to being graded. She also believes that this new system will provide an opportunity for teachers to refocus.

“Once students realize they have to complete the work prior to the assessment, our new system will allow teachers to focus on teaching and learning, rather than retesting ​and grading. Teachers will have more time to design creative, engaging learning activities for students,” Dr. Edge said.

Although it will take students and teachers some time to get used to it, Dr. Edge and administrators have high hopes and see success in the future for this new grading system.

“We ultimately want students and teachers to work together as partners in learning,” Dr. Edge said.