Standards-Based Grading

Understanding Standards-Based Grading


Saint Madeleine Sophie School is using a standards-based grading policy in order to accurately communicate your student’s mastery of content. We believe this provides a clear picture of your student’s academic progress.


  1. Coursework will be divided into three categories: Practice, Assessment Practice, and Assessment. Practice includes homework and other independent activities involving the skill. Assessment Practice includes activities in class that prepare the student for the assessment of the skill. Assessment is the opportunity for the student to demonstrate mastery of the skill.
  2. Content grades will be based upon demonstrated mastery of the course skills and standards being assessed. All of the course grade is based upon Assessment scores. Content grades will NOT include points for effort, homework, participation, or extra credit. These areas will be reflected in the self-directed learner category of the report card.
  3. Homework completion will be tracked, but will not count toward the content grade.
  4. We will use the four point scale to determine mastery (see the explanation below). Students need to score a 3 or higher on a skill or standard to demonstrate mastery.
  5. Students scoring below a 3 on any standard(s) or skill(s) will take an in-class retest on those standard(s) or skill(s) only.
  6. Students still scoring below a 3 after the in-class retest are allowed additional retests before or after school or at recess at the teacher’s discretion. Students MUST complete test corrections or at least 75% of their homework or retest practice work in order to retest.


The Four Point Scale


1- The students meets few requirements for proficient work and demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the skill.

2- The student meets some requirements for proficient work and is approaching mastery of the skill.

3- The student is demonstrating proficiency on the specific skill. He or she can regularly complete this skill and show solid understanding.

4- The student demonstrates the skill at an extremely high level (high school or college) in a unique way that exceeds expectations.  


Clarifying 4 point system

The four point scoring system is not a percentage. For example, receiving a 3 does not mean that the student is earning a 3 out of 4 possible points, or a 75%. It means the student is mastering that skill. Receiving a 4 is not the same as receiving full credit; it means the student is showing a highly rare and advanced level of mastery. On Powerschool reports, parents and students should focus on the the four point scale scores and not the percentage scores.  This score is listed under the Grade column of the Powerschool reports. The four point scale scores more accurately describe how well the student is mastering the skill.


Please discuss these procedures with your student and make sure he or she understands that each student is expected to master EACH individual concept with a score of 3, and that there will be an opportunity for review or extra help prior to retesting.