Grading & Assessments
Grading & Assessments
What does achievement look like? How do you measure it? At Salt Lake Arts Academy, we believe in holistic assessment. Middle School is a time in students’ lives when they are sharpening a maturing mind and self-awareness while developing multiple pathways toward success. Achievement is so much more than a score on a test. To prepare our students to become reflective students, we look at achievement in three lenses:
- Proficiency in Core Standards -- the skills and concepts that are foundational steps to mastery
- PEPR -- the habits of mind that lead to success throughout life: Preparation / Effort / Participation / Risk-taking
- CAB -- actions that contribute to successful achievement: Cooperation / Attitude / Behavior
We also believe in the importance of “growth.” It’s all too easy for students to think of grades as something adults do to them, rather than a snapshot of where they are in their learning continuum. Our Performance Assessment Rubrics (printed on the back of your report card!) are our way of helping students see where they are as they move through their school experience. The goal is for each student to see the whole pathway and understand what they need to do to progress.
What does proficiency really look like? There is a big difference between getting 100% on a spelling test and the ability to write a complicated essay that draws from multiple primary sources. Doing well on a multiple choice activity is very different than the creation of a unique project that teaches the concepts of photosynthesis!
This year, our Proficiency assessment will be describing the depth and complexity of what our students can do. Teachers are refining their learning outcomes to follow the progression that is defined in Bloom’s Taxonomy where learning moves from “remember and understand” to “apply and analyze, evaluate and create.”
Our Rubric aligns with the State SAGE end of year testing where a score of “2” is approaching proficiency, “3” is proficient and “4” is highly proficient. But unlike the SAGE, at SLArts we have a top category that offers a Challenge for students who have already achieved high proficiency. Our “5” reflects a level of engagement that builds upon and extends the strengths identified in “4.” As described in Bloom’s Taxonomy, when students can bring together all of the parts and pieces of what they have learned and put them together in a unique and creative outcome, they are demonstrating the highest degree of learning! Teachers have designed and will be offering these “Challenge” opportunities for students who are ready to move above “highly proficient.”
Please take the time to read through our Rubric with your student. Discuss with them where their work, effort and attitude have placed them. Talk about what they can do to progress to the next level of achievement. And remind them, learning is a journey that is unique to each one of us.
See our Standards of Excellence Rubric below for more details!