Luverne Elementary School will transition to Standards Based Grading (SBG) beginning with the 2016-2017 school year. Our teaching staff have researched SBG in their Professional Learning Communities (PLC). They have attended workshops and inservices led by nationally recognized leaders in the area of grading. Many of our teachers have also participated in various book studies on the topic. Through all of this research, our staff has determined that SBG will provide the most accurate and comprehensive information to our parents regarding their child's academic progress.


Standards Based Grading is a system of reporting student proficiency in a number of specific learning standards. Rather than give students one grade for a specific content area, this system gives students a number of scores that represent their proficiency in each of the standards assessed. Standards Based Grading reports effort and behavior separately so that the grade received reports only the student's achievement toward the standards.


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Traditional grading is highly subjective. When a student receives a letter grade on their report card it does not really tell the parent, teacher, or student what the student knows and is able to do. For example, if a student receives a "C" in math, what does that mean? There are dozens of skills taught in math at each grade level. What specific skills is the student struggling with?

The traditional letter grade also factors in things like effort, participation and behavior in the overall grade. When these factors are figured into the grade, we do not have a clear picture of the students' achievement toward the skills. The student earning a "C" may have mastered all the skills for the course, but they did not participate in class or they may have had behavior issues.

Standards Based Grading allows teachers and students to focus on knowledge and skills, not on points.


There are several Minnesota Academic Standard for each content area according to grade level. Teachers have identified specific "Power Standards" each student should master in the areas of Language Arts, Math, Music, and Physical Education. Students will be expected to show evidence they understand or have mastered each standard. This evidence can be in the form of a test or assessment, class assignment, homework, project, or even a conversation or observation by the teacher. Their "grade" is based on this evidence.




Parents will see each specific Power Standard listed on their child's report card. The scores on the report card will represent the student's level of understanding and mastery for each standard. Keep in mind that these are end-of-the-year standards.

The score on the report card will indicate how a student is doing based on the teacher's expectation at that particular juncture in the school year. Standards remain the same, however, expectations increase as the year progresses. Also, not all standards will be assessed every quarter. Our curriculum is cyclical- concepts are revisited at various times throughout the year.

Teachers will use the following scores on the report card:

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This is a new adventure for our staff. We appreciate everyone's patience as we work through this transition. Please talk with your child's teacher or myself if you have any questions regarding Standards Based Grading. It is our plan to address these questions throughout the year and send information to parents through our newsletter and our weekly emails.


To view additional books and articles on Standards Based Grading please click here.

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