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Our grading philosophy focuses on two key components: authentic content and professionalism standards, and student accountability and growth.

Student grades are broken down into various learning standards that emphasize individual growth. For every artifact of learning, a student may receive between two and six different scores based on the number of standards assessed. For example, a student may be proficient in “solving equations for X”, but approaching proficient in “writing expressions” and “graphing linear equations” for a project. This gives the student more specific information than a summative letter grade.

While summative grades are important, understanding how a student has grown over the course of a year is vital in our educational program. In order to report this growth, teachers will often use the grading system to provide feedback on students’ practice that will not count towards the final grade for a content standard. Often, home learning will have no weight for the content standards, but a weight of one or more for Habits of Work. This allows students the opportunity to practice a skill without the fear of being docked at the end of the trimester.

Evidence promotes student accountability and growth by offering a point of reflection. At the end of each trimester, students participate in Presentations of Learning (PoLs). During PoLs, students present their own learning by analyzing and reflecting upon artifacts created throughout their learning. Students present to varying groups of individuals, including advisors, mentors, peers, parents and guardians, using various thought processes: articulating the decision making process, detailing creation choices, overcoming obstacles, celebrating successes, describing learning outcomes and future investigations.

As a public charter school within the Sheboygan Area School District, we are also required to translate our reporting system to traditional transcripts with letter grades and grade point averages.