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Standards-Based Grading and Learning

Eagle County School District prioritizes creating an accurate and aligned grading system. We have a standards-based learning and assessment system where grades are accurate, consistent, and support learning by clearly communicating a student’s proficiency of academic content.

In this system, students are not punished for mistakes they make during the learning process. With an emphasis on continual improvement through clear feedback, students gain hope and motivation to be as successful as possible. These practices strengthen student-teacher relationships through building trust and shared understanding.

ECSD Standards-Based Grading Video Series

ECSD Standards-Based Grading FAQ

“Standards-Based grading is a method of assigning grades that ties student achievement to specific topics within each subject area. It allows teachers, students, and parents to clearly communicate about specific areas of strength and need. Ultimately, standards-based grading gives a clear and concise answer to the student’s question, 'What do I need to do to improve?'" - Robert Marzano

The Five Principles of Grading

1. Accurate. Our grading uses calculations that are mathematically sound, easy to understand, and correctly describe a student’s level of academic proficiency.

2. Based on Academic Proficiency. Grades reflect proficiency of standards as measured by varied assessments and a body of evidence. Homework, behaviors, and essential skills can be recorded in the gradebook to monitor progress and provide feedback, but should not be used to penalize a student’s grade.

3. A Culture of Revision. The way we grade motivates students to achieve academic success, supports a growth mindset, and gives students opportunities for redemption. Achievement is not fixed, but rather a process of learning with consistent feedback and opportunities for growth. 

4. Transparent, Timely, and Actionable Feedback and Reporting. The way we grade is timely, transparent, and understandable so that every student knows their progress towards mastering standards, and next steps to improve their performance.

5. Builds Soft Skills. Our grading practices distinguish and connect the means for learning effectively (the “essential skills,” the practice, the mistakes), from its ends: academic success. Students are active collaborators in their own learning, partnering with teachers to ensure understanding of learning standards in a way that is transparent and responsive.


Frequently Asked Questions