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Standards Based Grading

About SBG

Summit School District implemented Standards Based Grading (SBG) in 2013 as SBG provides meaningful, detailed, and helpful feedback for students, which results in increased levels of learning and student achievement. 

Over these years, although the philosophy of SBG has remained unchanged, our district is constantly evolving. In 2019, Principals, in collaboration with District Administration, refreshed and streamlined the original SSD Standards Based Grading handbook.

Here’s the updated SBG Handbook!

What is SBG?

Standards based grading (SBG) focuses on learning based on a demonstrated understanding of specific concepts which increases student achievement. SBG provides explanations of consistent concepts and material that students should know at each level in their education, which are called learning standards. When students receive report cards, they receive a grade (0.5-4.0) on how well they mastered the material.

In 2018, the State Board of Education approved revisions to the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), as required by statute, which is to be implemented in 2020. Summit School District, along with other Colorado school districts, are implementing the same high-level instructional standards and assessing students on how well they are learning and mastering this content. Summit School District uses standards based grading to provide an accurate picture of the current level of student proficiency. Grading and reporting around specific standards, while using the accompanying strategy of formative assessment with feedback related to progress toward standards, has been shown to significantly boost achievement.

Advantages of SBG 

  1. Provides an accurate understanding of student academic achievement by measuring what a student knows and is able to do by separating work habits and behavior from academic skills.

  2. Provides more specific feedback to teachers, students and parents, so teachers are able to deliver targeted instruction based on students' strengths and weaknesses.

  3. Provides clear and consistent expectations for what students are learning and proficiency of learning standards that is accurate, fair, specific and timely.

  4. Shifts the focus toward mastery of essential learning standards and away from the accumulation of points toward a grade on a report card.

  5. Promotes improved student learning, character development and academic success.

  6. Fosters student ownership of education by enabling them to identify areas of improvement, engage in their learning and self-direct their activities.

Guiding Principles

Summit School District is committed to applying standards based grading practices uniformly across all schools and grade levels. The district follows these guiding principles and expectations to ensure that all grading and reporting are consistent.

Standards Based Grading Scale

Schools will use a four-point standards based grading scale (0.5 – 4.0). This scale will be used for all grades at the elementary, middle, and high schools.

Please see the terminology and descriptions listed in the figure below:

Grading Scale

4.0 - Advanced

Student consistently exceeds grade level expectations/standards and is able to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. The student demonstrates originality and insight and regularly produces work of high quality.

3.5 - Advanced

Student consistently meets and exceeds grade level expectations/standards and is able to apply learned information and skills to new and unfamiliar situations with original insights beyond what is covered in the classroom.

3.0 - Proficient

Independently, student consistently meets and sometimes exceeds grade level expectations/standards and is able to apply learned information and skills to complex ideas and processes in familiar situations (this is the level being "taught).

2.5 - Proficient

With minimal adult support, student consistently meets grade level expectations/standards and is able to apply learned information and skills to complex ideas and processes in familiar situations. (The student is showing proficient level of work but not as consistently).

2.0 - Progressing

The student meets or exceeds proficiency of foundational details and processes prerequisite skills, but is still working toward proficiency of the complex ideas and processes of the grade level.

1.5 - Partially Proficient

With assistance, the student displays knowledge of foundational details and processes or prerequisite skills.

1.0 - Unsatisfactory

The student is rarely able to display knowledge of foundational details and processes, even with help.

IE - Unsatisfactory

Insufficient Evidence, the student has not provided enough evidence to determine a score.