We evaluate each child’s progress according to mastery of specific skills rather than vague letter grades for each subject. For instance, rather than getting an “A” in reading, we may talk to you about how your child has mastered the skill of identifying and creating/using metaphors. In addition, we may communicate to you that your child is reading at a level N in terms of fluency and comprehension according to the Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading program, which is typically evident in a third-grade setting.
For most skills, the student will receive a number score (1-4) that will reflect their level of mastery. A “4” would indicate the child has mastered the skill(s) involved and gone above and beyond in application of the skill(s). A “3” would indicate the child met the expectations and has adequate mastery of the skill(s). A “2” indicates the student is still working toward mastery. A “1” indicates the student is struggling with the concept and will require substantial support.
If letter grades are important to your understanding of your child’s progress, we can certainly convert our skill-based grading to a letter scale to give you an idea of where your child may be in relation to a child in a traditional school. However, we feel that skill-based grading is more specific and meaningful.
In the 3-5 class, the students will begin to transition into a letter-based grading system, but it will continue to correlate with specific skill sets for each project. Families will always be provided with specific rubrics that highlight the expectations and guidelines. Again, the focus will be on skill assessment rather than general achievement with arbitrary grade labels.