Southeast Polk Grading and Reporting

Teaching and learning at Southeast Polk is based on identified standards. Rather than a reflection of student behavior, how much work is turned in, or unrelated task completion, grades are a reflection of the learning that occurred as applied to a scale of proficiency, based on the standard.  

Students and parents receive feedback on meeting proficiency scale 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 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.

New information about learning should replace old information. The purpose of giving multiple attempts to demonstrate learning is to show the student’s understanding of that standard. As such, when a student has shown proficiency in the standard through opportunities to provide evidence of attainment, that most current evidence of understanding will replace previous evidence. 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. Since we will continue to use traditional letter grades on report cards, communication about a student’s proficiency on priority standards will also provide more clarity on how they earned the letter grade for the class.

JoEllen Latham, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, shared, “Our goal is to strengthen learning for students.  Standards-referenced grading will provide clear learning goals, opportunities for feedback, and better communication on student progress.  We are looking forward to continuing this work to support our students.”

Below is a chart that illustrates some potential differences between traditional grading and standards-based grading.  *Please note that this is a sample report–Southeast Polk teacher work groups are continuing to develop reporting possibilities.

*Traditional Grading Standards-Referenced Grading

Test #1-83%
Test #2-80%
Test #3-90%

Daily Work

Missing 2 Assignments



-Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems–Level 3

-Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with fractional edge lengths by packing it with unit cubes of the appropriate unit fraction edge lengths, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths of the prism. Apply the formulas V = l w h and V = b h to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.–Level 2

-Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.–Level 2

-Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.–Level 2

Statistics and Probability

-Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots–Level 4

-Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by: a. Reporting the number of observations. –Level 3

b. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement.

c. Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.

d. Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.