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Standards-Based Grading at Lewisburg School

(L-R) Daisy Crabtree, Keanen Barnett, and AnnaBella Bellar learn the importance of collaboration.

Lewisburg School is excited to begin implementing standards-based grading this school year.  The school-based decision making council (SBDM) approved the change at the July 2021 meeting.  The change will result in more information being relayed to the parent or guardian.  In a standards-based grading system, the teacher will assess the student on whether or not they demonstrate proficiency on a particular academic standard. 

According to the principal, Dr. Josh Matthews, this change should allow for parents to pinpoint where a child needs help.

“We feel like this will allow parents to know exactly what a child knows or doesn’t know,” said Dr. Matthews. “As parents, we can be informed decision-makers when it comes to helping our students.” 

As is common practice, the traditional grading system simply gives a number value to the student each nine weeks.  It can be difficult to know exactly what the child is working on, much less what they know or don’t know.  In standards-based grading, the teachers will use assessments, classwork, and projects to determine whether the student has an understanding of a particular standard. 

Lewisburg School will use the terminology “Exemplary,” “Accomplished,” “Progressing”, and  “Not Progressing.”  “Exemplary” means a student is completing the work independently with very few, if any, mistakes.  “Accomplished” means the student is working independently with some mistakes. “Progressing” means a student is completing work but cannot do the work independently without several mistakes.  Finally, “Not Progressing” means a student is not completing work and has not demonstrated any understanding of that particular standard. 

A student must receive “Progressing” in order to be considered passing.  Lewisburg teacher and SBDM member Elizabeth Beadnell said she hopes this system helps with parent communication and involvement.

 “As a teacher and parent, I want to know exactly what my student or child knows when it comes to academic standards,” said Beadnell. “This system is more work for the teacher in terms of reporting grades, but the benefit is immense when it comes to informing the parent.  I am thrilled and excited to see this implemented schoolwide.”

Lewisburg has been recognized as a School of Innovation by the Kentucky Department of Education and has been a district leader in growth scores over the past several years. In 2019, Lewisburg was a 5-star growth school which put them in the top 10 percent in the state for growing students. 

According to Dr. Matthews, the push to innovate and provide a better learning experience for the students is the reason Lewisburg has been so successful.

“We are constantly trying to find new and better ways to deliver education,” said Dr. Matthews. “We want this to be a great learning experience for our students. We have high expectations, but our students have proven they can meet those expectations. Standards-based grading is the next step in helping us grow as a school.” 

Jessica Early, middle school math teacher and SBDM member, agrees; “Lewisburg is totally student-centered. The teachers and staff focus on making the learning experience more engaging and rewarding.  We feel providing more information to parents will further enhance our partnership with parents which ultimately makes the learning experience better for our students.”

(L-R) Middle school students Gabe Deberry and Chandler Dulworth work together on an assignment.


Article by Dr. Josh Matthews, Ed. D., Principal of Lewisburg School

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