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Grading Practices

The purpose of the Oelwein School District’s Standard Referenced Grade (SRG) and Report Card is to clearly communicate to students and families a student’s current level of academic performance and progress toward grade specific essential learning.

SRG scale

What you need to know

Learning Progression Established

Essential grade level learning targets have been written and established by our teams. They progressively work together to build a ladder of success for every child. Each essential standard is scaffolded with identified skills to help students grow.

Progress Based

Each student grows and learns in their own time. Using the old industrialized model of grading based on homework, tests, and time no longer accurately captures when and how each student learns.

Student Centered

The SRG report card allows our educators to clearly and accurately pinpoint the skills and attributes of learning required to be successful at each grade level. Assessing and communicating where each student is at in their own learning and on their own time allows our educators to provide the best instruction and support needed to help every child with their own learning goals and needs.


For this example we will examine a student assessment/skill growth in swimming or a swimming course.

Traditional Grading

Swimming - B

This is all you will probably receive. This grade probably means several different things to several different people including the instructor. For some a “C” is average while for others, it is unacceptable. Traditional grades also average performance overtime. Clearly when learning to swim we should not place so much value to the skills and practice that were taking place when the skill was brand new to the learner. Averaging does not discriminate for time or value. I also don’t know if practice (homework) was graded, what types of “swimming” were evaluated, and what learning would come next. How can I help support them?

Standard Referenced Grading

The instructor has developed and communicated to the learner a learning progression with a clearly stated goal.

SRG Ex. Text

Reported Standard

(3) Student can complete a crawl stroke and easily move around in a pool or body of water.

As a student or guardian I can clearly see what the skill is and if the child is proficient in that skill. If they were reported as a “2” I would know they have some skills to continue practicing to become proficient. If they are at a “4” they should be practicing new skills and applying the proficient skills in new and unique ways.


Letter grades will no longer be used in grades K-8. The High School will continue to convert the overall learning progression to a course and letter grade. Although, it is our hope to someday end this practice as an “Average” converted to a letter grade does not accurately portray the current status of student learning.

100% of a student’s grade/score will be base on their current level of learning. Extra credit can provide inflated scores, not accurately communicating their true level of learning. No extra credit will be given.

From time to time a teacher may assign additional work for your student to work on their learning to help grow their proficiency. It will be assessed with the learning proficiency checks as a piece of learning evidence.

School grades and assessments will only be reflective of student learning and not of your child’s behavior. The Universal Constructs will assess the positive behaviors and employability skills we want to see in all Oelwein students. The Universal Constructs include: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Accountability and Flexibility.

When students are asked to do homework we expect:

  • Homework is aligned to what students are currently working on in the classroom.
  • Homework is practice toward proficiency of a skill.
  • Homework is an essential part of learning new and difficult skills and standards.

A teacher will provide students an opportunity to assess or test their level of proficiency. helping to understand and know if the student can complete the skill or task independently. Proficiency checks can look like traditional tests, presentations, or what would be considered a summative or  “final” assessment. Proficiency checks will not be “final.” Students can re-learn, re-practice, and re-test proficiency with teacher assistance.