New Horizons for Learning Charter School
New Horizons for Learning has selected to adopt a standards-based grading system. It is essential that each student, parent, and instructor understand the value of standards-based grading and its benefits for today’s student. Standards-based grading has four primary reasons for adoption by New Horizons.
- 1. Mandated by Federal directives
- 2. Supports learning
- 3. Improves communication
- 4. Provides consistency/fairness
How we grade for learning:
- 1. We ensure grading is consistent for each student.
- 2. We ensure grading is accurate for each student.
- 3. We ensure grading is meaningful
- 4. We ensure grading is supportive of learning.
At New Horizons we are interested in the achievement each student makes through successful performance. We are equally invested in the progress each student makes and the growth of each cohort. Reports on student progress and achievement will focus on academic strides in each course and subject area. They will be separate from punctuality, attitude, behavior, effort, attendance, and work habits. These indicators are no less vital to the success of the individual and the collective group.
Determining whether each student has met learning standards will be based on Triangulation of Evidence; Adapted from Davies, A. (2000). Making classroom assessment work. Merville, BC: Connection Publishing.
What is the student able to do?
What does the student know?
Homework will also play an important role at New Horizons. It will not however, be graded. Homework will serve on of four purposes.
1. Practice—to reinforce learning and help ensure student mastery of specific skills.
2. Participation—introduces material presented in future lessons. These assignments aim to help students learn new material when it is covered in class.
3. Extension—asks students to apply skills they already have in new situations.
4. Integration—requires students to apply many different skills to a large task, such as presentations, service projects, and writing.
Final grades will be based on achieving learning objectives through standards set by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Each student will be required to demonstrate a level of performance designated for three core instructional targets. First, a methods course will require each student to actively develop process and content skills in cross-curricular areas. Second, the completion of a portfolio in the areas of business, higher education, and community involvement is required. Third, a semester project/presentation through the project learning partnership with the Urban Ecology Center must meet learning standards. The successful completion in these three core targets will determine credit earnings toward graduation. Successful completion of course objectives will be represented with a P (pass). If learning targets are not met, the students will not earn a P but will receive a U (unsatisfactory) and will slow the process toward graduation from SHS/NH.
Final grades will not involve the practices that may be potentially harmful toward student progress. The three practices that will not be part of earning credit at New Horizons include the following:
- 1. We will not average scores to determine a grade.
- 2. We will not use zeros to factor into grades.
- 3. We will not take away from students or lower their grade because of behavioral infractions.
Assessment plans at New Horizons include the following:
- 1. Assessment Plan will begin with the desired results.
- 2. Assessment Plan will include diagnostic assessment that help determine the what and how for teaching and learning.
- 3. Assessment Plan will include formative assessments that will help students achieve learning goals and that help shape effective instruction for learning.
- 4. Assessment Plan will include summative assessment that will be used to determine whether each student ‘knows and can do.’
If there are any questions regarding the New Horizons grading policy, please contact me at your convenience via email at bnedilsky@shorewood.K12.wi.us .
Bohdan V. Nedilsky
New Horizons for Learning Charter School