Grading & Assessments

Common Language

Learning Practice: Students have opportunities to engage in learning and get feedback on progress informally from teacher, peers or through self-reflection.  Learning practice is an important component of the learning process to demonstrate mastery prior to a summative assessment.  (examples: hands-on learning activities, group work, homework practice, self-reflection, small group discussion with exit ticket on learning target)

Formative Assessment: Process used by both teachers and students during instruction that provides descriptive feedback to adjust teaching and learning.  Formative assessment inform students about their learning progress and next steps for learning growth before a summative assessment.  Receiving high quality, timely and actionable feedback from the teacher is a critical part of the formative assessment process for students.  It is also a tool to inform teachers about instructional decisions as they relate to the student. Formative assessments are an important part of the learning process and to demonstrate readiness for summative assessments. (examples: quizzes, journals, hands-on learning activities with oral or written response to learning target)

Summative Assessment: Measures student academic achievement and progress towards mastery of power standards/learning targets.  They provide opportunities to measure student progress by determining if students have learned the intended goals.  Providing actionable feedback on the results is important so students can monitor their progress and set future learning goals. (examples: unit assessment or project)


When learning something new, such as riding a bike, it helps to see someone put that new skill or concept into action, then try it out, gain experience and receive feedback, learn from it, and try again. Working through a collaborative process that allows for students to improve and make progress helps a student develop a deeper understanding of the skill, concept, or Power Standard.

Eastern Carver County Schools works to develop teaching strategies that encourage students to take more active roles, such as this, in their learning. Following a collaborative learning process, teachers assess student learning using a learning target. This assessment gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and also informs the teacher of the student’s level of learning. At this point, if students are not meeting the learning target goal, teachers continue to support the student’s learning through a variety of instructional strategies and interventions, which may or may not conclude in an opportunity for a reassessment or participate in another opportunity to demonstrate learning. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.


Grading and reporting practices should be used to support learners. At Eastern Carver County Schools, we do this by using practices that reflect academic achievement and learning progress. This is foundational to personalized learning. What happens in the classroom, and in gradebooks, is centered around creating relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for all students.

Grades reflect student learning, which is the focus of our work. Our grading system shows what a student has learned, and can be used by students to reflect on what they’ve learned and where they can continue to grow. No two learners are alike, and our approach to grading supports ongoing learning, when necessary, through multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of a subject.

Students have multiple learning opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge. Teachers will deliver feedback so that learners know their current level of understanding and where there is room for growth. Working together, teachers and students identify gaps in learning, and develop a plan for how best to demonstrate when those gaps have been closed. For some students, this might be a traditional retake, for others a different method of assessment.

Grading Parameters for Grades 6-12 – Formative and Summative Assessment balance in calculating grades.

  • Middle School (6-8): 
    • Learning Practice = 0% of the grade
    • Formative Assessment  = 0% of the grade
    • Summative Assessment = 100% of the grade
  • High School (9-12)
    • Learning Practice = 0% of the grade
    • Formative Assessment = maximum of 10% of the grade
    • Summative Assessment = minimum of 90% of the grade
    • 100% Summative & 0% Formative can be used 
*** If a student scores below 70% on a summative assessment, the teacher needs to continue working with the student through the Multiple Opportunity Cycle.  This is an indication that learning is incomplete and support is needed.   

***For high school courses, D+/D/D- will be used on report cards to indicate attainment of credit.