Standards Based Grading and Reporting

  • What is standards-based grade reporting?

    A standards-based grade reporting system is designed to inform parents about their child’s progress towards achieving specific learning standards.  It shows where a child falls on a academic continuum.  This is different from a traditional report card that only shows one grade for reading, one for math, one for science, and so on.

    How do standards-based report cards differ from the Fayette County report cards used in the past?

    In the past, Kindergarten and First Grade report cards used a checklist system to reflect the standards and elements that had been taught and assessed.  Students earned a 1-4, just as on the 2nd-5th grade report cards.  These  1s-4s indicated whether or not a student had interventions in place to support learning.  On the standards based report card the 1s-4s indicate level of proficiency towards mastery, and will be a much more individualized and informative report.  

    This will also be a mindset shift from the percentage grading used in 2nd through 5th grades.  Percentage grading gives averages of performance on a task, or multiple tasks.  

    For example, if a student scores an 80% on a unit math test, they could produce the correct answer for tasks (including more than one standard)  80% of the time.  Looking at that same test, a student might show mastery of one standard, earning a 3.  However, they may not yet be proficient on another standard, earning a 2.  A score of a 2 is not denoting an average, but rather the development of proficiency towards standards.  

    What is the difference between scores of 1, 2, 3, and 4?  

    A score of 1 indicates that your child has minimal ability to perform the standard, therefore needing additional instruction.  A score of 2 indicates that your child still needs prompting and support to perform the standard. A score of 3 indicates that your child can consistently demonstrate mastery of the standard.  A score of 4 indicates  that your child can self-initiate and extend knowledge of the standard.  In some cases a 3 is the highest score that can be earned.  For example, a student can only learn 26 letters.  See Rubric for further description.

    If my child has shown mastery for a certain portion of the standard, but has not yet had an opportunity to master the complete standard, can s/he still get a 3?

    If students are still progressing towards total mastery of a standard, a 3 would not be appropriate.  A 1 or 2 more accurately reflects that the student has not reached end-of-year proficiency on that standard.   

    An example would be if the standard requires a student to count to 100.  If the class has only worked on counting to 50, and your child is proficient at this, s/he would earn a 2.  A comment may be included by your child’s teacher to express the current expectations and your child’s academic progress.

    My child is academically strong. How will standards-based teaching, learning and scoring challenge my child?

    Through standards-based instructional methods of pre-assessment, teachers will know if students have already mastered concepts prior to a lesson or unit. It will give teachers an early opportunity to provide meaningful and challenging work for these students. In the classroom, teachers have always been, and continue to be, required to challenge the students who are achieving at or above grade level. Teachers differentiate instruction so that students continue to grow and progress. This will be no different with the new reporting tool. In fact, more than ever, they will be able to see who really has mastered the standard and who needs additional instruction or intervention.

    My child has an IEP. How will he or she be assessed?

    There are modifications and accommodations in your child’s IEP to support his or her progress on grade level standards as assessed on a standards-based report card.

    Why are 1s and 2s common in the first semester?

    Ones and twos will be common in the first semester because students are working toward end of year mastery of the standards.  They may not have been exposed to the entire standard or adequate practice to show complete mastery in the first half of the year.  Rest assured that a 1 or a 2 is not necessarily a cause for concern.  Your child’s teacher will communicate with you as necessary about your child’s progress.

    Will I still see comments on the report card?

    Absolutely!  The comments will be targeted towards specific areas of strength and opportunities for growth.

    Will a Spanish rubric be available?

    Yes, but the rubric is in the process of being created.  

    ​How​ ​can​ ​I ​help​ ​my ​child​ ​to​ ​understand​ ​his/her​ ​grades?

    It is important to communicate your child’s progress.  Your child needs to know that he/she is always learning and that the report card shows his/her learning growth, just as a measuring tape shows how much he/she has grown in height. 


    This new report card will benefit students, teachers and parents/guardians. It will allow students to be more aware of what is expected of them. It will provide parents with a more detailed outline of the expectations in each of the major academic areas. We believe that your understanding of what is expected of your child and how well he or she is progressing towards the goals at his or her grade level is very important. We look forward to working together to provide your child with the knowledge and tools to be successful and to reach his or her fullest potential.