Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of standards based assessment?

The biggest advantage of standards based assessment is the focus on power standards and daily learning targets that are constantly communicated to parents throughout instruction. Through assessment and reporting teachers, students, and parents are able to clearly see which skills and standards have been mastered and which still need practice. Conversation between teachers and students/parents are centered on what really needs to be learned rather than “how do I get an A?”. Studies have shown that by changing the conversation and focus of learning, students learn at a deeper level.

Isn't this just another educational "fad" that will eventually go away?

Actually, just the opposite is true. Versions of standards based assessment have been around for as long as schools have been around. It wasn’t until the 20th century that our traditional version of grading (A-F scale) became the norm. It is true, however, that standards based assessment has started to make a comeback to schools in the last several decades. Many states (Oregon, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii to name a few) have made this a statewide shift. In others, including Ohio, it has been a local decision. 

Is basis "grades" on standards subjective?

Honestly, all grading has some element of subjectivity. However, grading in a standard based system seeks to eliminate many of the subjective elements of traditional grading. All assessments are designed with the end in mind - what does it mean to meet the standard? This results in the development of clear criteria and distinct levels of understanding. By having specific criteria that are based on a specific state standard it is easier to control many other factors that can influence a grade. 

How does my child get an A?

In the standard based system, students do not receive letter grades. Instead, a standard is identified and a student is assigned a performance level based on their demonstrated understanding of the concepts found within that standard at any given point in the school year. Students may progress through the different performance levels with the goal of achieving the highest level of Met the Standard. 

Will there still be an honor roll and merit roll?

Yes, Mapleton Middle School will still recognize students for academic achievement. In the standards-based assessment system, students will be recognized using the following categories/criteria:

 

 


Distinguished Scholar RollPerformance level of Met the Standard in all standards/category


High Honor Roll Performance level of Met the Standard and not more than two performance levels of Approaching the Standard of in any standard/category


Merit Roll Performance level of Met the Standard and not more than three performance levels of Approaching the Standard in any standard/category


         

                        

Will students receive a grade point average (GPA)?

No, Mapleton Middle School students will no longer receive a nine weeks GPA. Previously, GPA was used as one of factors to determine academic recognition and athletic eligibility. With the move to standards based assessment, we have eliminated all GPA requirements and put other policies in place that are consistent with standards based assessment practices. However, students who are taking courses for high school credit will still receive a GPA in those course only that will be reflected on their high school transcript and follow all Mapleton High School GPA guidelines and procedures.

What academic and intervention supports will my child receive?

All students at Mapleton Middle School will continue to receive the same services and support that they have previously received. 

How will Standards Based Assessment impact athletic eligibility?

Students in 7th and 8th grade must receive passing marks in at least 4 classes in the previous reporting period for the sports season in which they wish to participate. During each reporting period (nine weeks), a student is considered to have “passed” the class if he/she reaches a performance level of Met the Standard (3) or Approaching the Standard (2) in each standard/category as reported on the report card. For classes that do not report specific standards, the student must reach an overall performance level of Met the Standard (3) or Approaching the Standard (2). A student is considered to have failed a class if he/she has a Developing Knowledge of the Standard (1) in any standard/category for that class. A student must pass 2 of 4 reporting periods, including a passing performance level in either the 3rd or 4th reporting period to pass a year-long class.

How will SBA prepare my child for high school where letter grades are still used?

Mapleton Middle School students and parents will have a clear understanding of the areas in which the students’ learning is at or below grade level proficiency. Additionally, the standards based system is designed to help students take responsibility for their own learning. These elements will allow students to enter high school with realistic expectations and goals and with the self-reliance that is needed to achieve at all levels of learning.
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