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Standards Based Grading & Report Card Information

SWSD will continue to follow the Marzano Instructional Framework.  Lessons will focus on learning scales and targets to communicate expectations of state standards within all classrooms.

Report Card Updates for Grades 3-6

Starting with the 2021-2022 school year, a new grading system will be implemented in grades 3-6 in SWSD. 

A = 90-100

B = 80-89

C = 70-79

D = 60-69

F = 59 and below

These grades will be based on Summative, Formative, and Homework grades as follows….

60% Summative Assessments: Final independent assessments and culminating projects

35% Formative Assessments: Classwork and small assessments sometimes done with teacher or small group support and guidance

5% Homework: To practice skills and standards as well as for accountability of student preparedness for classes.  

Please be mindful, the total number of formative assessments, summative assessments, and homework per grade level and subject are determined and communicated by the teachers and discussed during grade level meetings.

Cover sheets will continue to be used through the grade levels as done in the past.  Cover sheets will continue to demonstrate the skills and standards for each class and what has been mastered, still in progress, or not evaluated at a particular point in time.  However, there will now be a percent score added to cover sheets for grading.  Grades will be accessible through OnCourse for each student. However, please allow teachers time to add and upload scores as there are multiple classes to be completed.  

Standards will continue to be monitored through each subject area for mastery. Teachers will provide differentiation and support to those students who may need additional time to master a standard. However, there will be an emphasis on not allowing the students to “redo” formative and summative assessments in order to focus on increasing the importance of student accountability as they move through each grade level in their academic career.  The teacher will continue to work with the student on the skills as needed.  Additional assessment opportunities will be provided so that the student will be able to show growth.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the curriculum department.  

Report cards will remain standards based for K-2 and All Special Areas K-6.

Understanding Standards Based Grading


  • What is standards-based grading?
    • Standards-based grading communicates how students are performing on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of standards-based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to pre-establish learning targets, as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of a grading period, which can mask what a student has learned, or not learned, in a specific course.
  • How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?
    • Unlike with traditional grading systems, a standards-based grading system measures a student’s mastery of grade-level standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance. Thus a student who may have struggled at the beginning of a course, when first encountering new material, may still be able to demonstrate mastery of key content/concepts by the end of a grading period.
    • In a traditional grading system, a student’s performance for an entire quarter is averaged together. Early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with more proficient performance later in the course, resulting in a lower overall grade than current performance indicates.
    • Standards-based report cards separate academic performance from work habits and behavior in order to provide parents a more accurate view of a student’s progress in both academic and behavioral areas. Variables such as effort, participation, timeliness, cooperation, attitude and attendance are reported separately, not as an indicator of a student’s academic performance.
  • How are my child’s marks determined?
    • A student’s performance on a series of assessments (both formative and summative) will be used to determine a student’s overall grade in a course. Practice assignments (homework) are just that, practice, and thus should serve primarily as a source of feedback and instructional support for both students and teachers. Scores on practice assignments should not be used as a major component of a student’s academic grade. Teachers may require students to complete all of their practice work prior to allowing them to take, or retake, an assessment.

SWSD Presentation on Standards Based Grading (2016)