Lake Elsinore Unified School District

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Elementary Curriculum and Instruction » Standards-Based Grading

Standards-Based Grading

Standards/Based Grading

A standards-based report card emphasizes “learning” over “earning”. Each trimester provides students multiple opportunities to practice, attain, and demonstrate proficiency on the CA Standards and the Lake Elsinore benchmarks. The report card accurately communicates achievement of learning targets to students, parents, and educators.


Through the identification of clear targets, a student’s knowledge and skills are measured on a continual basis, stretching students to perform at their highest level of potential. Teachers collect evidence of a child’s achievement through careful observations, examination of the students’ work, discussions, projects, performance tasks, quizzes, and tests. Teachers record information about each child’s progress on a frequent basis, analyze and compile that information, and finally use the data to evaluate each child’s progress toward attainment of the standard. Therefore, the grade for each trimester communicates a student’s progress as compared to where we would expect him/her to be at that moment in time.


Student proficiency is reported separately from their efforts to participate, be attentive or resourceful, etc..


Citizenship grades are reported separately form proficiency grades. They are an integral piece of the report card as they reflect the behaviors that contribute to the development of a responsible citizen. Citizenship grades reflect the degree to which a student demonstrates behaviors in the areas of effort and work ethic, attitude and decision making, as well as preparedness for learning.


Learning targets have been developed in ELA and Mathematics in Grades 1-6 for each trimester. The purpose of these are to assist students and parents in understanding what the specific learning expectations are for students to be considered proficient at each grade level in each skill area at each trimester. These learning expectations may grow or increase as the school year progresses and more content/skills are introduced. Therefore a student may receive a “3” trimester 1, but as the expectation grows, may receive a “2” in a later trimester.


In a standards-based classroom, the focus is on a student’s performance over multiple opportunities, not simply the grading and averaging of tests and quizzes. Standards are specified learning goals applied to all students and provide consistent targets for students to meet each trimester. Standards provide a focus for aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment. They are the general categories that organize knowledge within a discipline.