How are Final Grades Reported in SBE?

Grading isn’t a one-time event

  • Standards-based education gives students the practice they need and more than one opportunity to demonstrate success—if they need it. And each student’s work is measured against the standard, not other students.

    Here’s an example. The process is like preparing for a driver’s license test. The goal is clear: You want to drive a car. The steps to get there are understood: You get your instruction permit, take a driver’s education course, put in hours of supervised driving practice, and get feedback along the way. The measure of mastery is also clear: you’ve got to pass the driver’s test. Once you put in the practice and you feel ready, it’s time for the test. Some people need more than one chance to take this important test–and you can still earn a license to drive.

How are Grades Calculated?

  • On Tuesday, December 10, 2013, the Federal Way Board of Directors voted to approve modifications to the student grading policy (Policy 2420).  These modifications are being made to better communicate how students are performing in each of their classes. Read how grades are calculated

Meeting standards

  • The priority standards for a grade level or class provide a clear picture of what a student is expected to know or do to be successful.

    And students will be given the time to thoroughly learn what they need to know. Teachers present the material, then assess whether a student understands a concept by using informal assessments during the course of the class. Students may advance their learning by working together as a whole class, by working in a smaller group, and by themselves —through independent practice, including homework and in-class assignments.

    By the end of the year, your student will be assessed on all the priority standards for each subject at his or her grade level. His final grade will reflect his understanding of all of the priority standards for that subject at his or her grade level.

    In order to advance to the next level or grade, students must pass the course or class with a grade of “C” or “ME”, or better. Extra credit activities that have no relation to the standards will not impact the grade.

Elementary School report cards

  • Elementary school report cards show subjects, just as they always have, but without a letter grade. The priority standards that have been assessed in each subject are listed. The teacher will indicate the student’s level of understanding of the standards by assigning a number from 1-4, with 4 being the highest score. As the year progresses, parents should see growth in the student’s mastery of standards.

Secondary report cards

  • High school students receive letter grades for credit-bearing classes, just like in the traditional system. This allows for our students’ report cards to be compared consistently with students from other districts when it comes to college admissions, scholarships, and even car insurance. Those grades are determined by how well students have mastered the priority (or power) standards. For high school credit-bearing classes, every time a priority standard is assessed, it will generate a grade (A, B, C, F) for the course. For middle school grading, grades will still be based on the BE-AP-ME-EX (beginning, approaching, meeting, exceeding) scale

How grade point averages are calculated for high school students

  • Final Course grades will continue to be averaged using a 4.0-point system to determine GPA. Additional credit is not given for honors classes, doing homework or class participation, for example. Students do not receive “+” or “-” attached to a letter grade.  Each letter grade carries the value assigned below:

    • A = 4.0
    • B = 3.0
    • C = 2.0
    • F = 0.0

    For more detail on how grades are calculated, go to The Standards-Based Grading System