Standards-based grading lets you assess students on several different objectives for each subject, rather than just one grade per subject. (See an example of a standards-based report card.) Admins must setup the standards for your school or district before teachers can grade standards.
Note: "Standards" are not necessarily "Rubrics", so first let's clarify some terms used in this documentation:
Rubric is a type of grade scale, which may use numbers like 4, 4-, 3+, etc., or letters like E=Excellent, S=Satisfactory, N=Needs Improvement. Standards often use rubrics, but you can also use traditional letter grades like A, B, C, D, F.
Standards is a set of objectives for a specific subject and grade level, such as 3rd grade Math, or for characteristics and study skills.
Objective is a single graded item in a set of Standards, such as "Factors numbers up to 50", or "Cooperates with others".
Strand is a group of objectives within a set of standards, such as Number Sense. Math and Language Arts are usually subdivided into strands, while other subjects usually are not.
Each state has defined their own standards, but they have defined so many specific objectives, it would be impractical to list them all on report cards. So each school district has their own condensed version of the state standards to show on report cards. Enter only your district's condensed version as you want them to appear on report cards, not the complete set of state standards.
The easiest way to understand how standards are structured is to look at the samples on the screen. Also you can see how these standards appear in a sample report card. Notice that some subjects like Science and PE don't necessarily need standards, while Character & Study Skills usually do.
To help you get started, send us a sample report card for your school. We will then create a report card for one grade level for you, which you can then modify and replicate for other grade levels as needed. This service is included with your school free trial. Please contact us for further instructions.
The easiest way to enter standards is to copy them from your school/district's report card source document (spreadsheet, Word doc, etc.):
Character & Study Skills
If your report cards list things like cooperation, keeping organized, paying attention, etc., you'll need a set of standards for that and a corresponding "course". If your report cards separate personal characteristics from study skills, those should be two strands within the same set of standards. Most schools need only one set of Character & Study Skills for all grade levels.
Most teachers like to keep separate tabs in their gradebooks for Reading, Language/Writing, and Spelling, so you should have separate courses for each. For example, first grade would have separate courses for "Reading 1", "Language 1", and "Spelling 1". Then use the same "Language Arts 1" standards for each. (In other words, multiple courses may use the same standards, and it is not necessary for those courses to correspond to strands.)
For subjects that show only a single grade on report cards, without any detailed objectives, do not define any standards for those. Those courses should have the standards set to "None". For some schools this applies to Science and Social Studies too.
In addition to grades, some report cards have custom fields or circled items — e.g., the student's reading level, or a list of which letters the student recognizes (common in kindergarten). See the sample report card. Also see the "Sample Kindergarten Language Arts" on screen to see how it's constructed.
When editing Objectives, type two or more underscores to represent a text box, like "Reading level: __". Teachers fill in this text box on the screen in their gradebook.
Type a single underscore before any items which may be circled, like "_A _B _C _D _E _F _G ...." (Note it goes before the item, not like this: A_ B_ C_ ...). On the screen, teachers see a checkbox to select each item. Then on report cards the checked items are dimmed. (To print as a checkmark instead of circling, use two underscores, then the teacher will type a backslash ( \ ) which then prints as a ✓)
You may edit and delete standards anytime. If you edit standards that are already in use for the year, it may ask you how to update teachers' gradebooks from the old objectives to the new ones. Note that it saves separate copies of your standards for each year, so if you make revisions one year, it does not affect versions from other years.
The standards do not define which grade scale to use. Instead, teachers select the appropriate grade scale in their gradebooks on the screen. They may select a different grade scale for each subject, like 4321± for core subjects and ESN± for Character & Study Skills.
By default, the overall grade and the objectives use the same grading scale, like 4321. To override this behavior to use different grade scales (e.g. ABCDF for the overall Reading grade, but 4321 for the objectives like Fluency, Comprehension, etc.) teachers must manually override grades on the report cards. See instructions at the bottom of Standards Grading Options.