Achievement-Based Grading

The School District of New Berlin is committed to ensuring that all students’ grades accurately reflect their knowledge, skills and dispositions in alignment with the Vision of Our Graduate. SDNB educators also strive to provide all students with quality feedback throughout a course to help students grow and succeed.


History

A district Grading & Reporting Task Force has been working since about 2012 on transitioning to an Achievement-Based Grading (ABG) system. In September 2015, the new system was implemented for all students at our four elementary schools. At the secondary schools, it was implemented by a group of about 35 teachers and the students taking those teachers’ courses. In the fall of 2016, the new grading system will be used by all students K-12. Many other school districts are using standards-aligned grading systems, similar to ABG systems, including Pewaukee, Shorewood, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, West Allis-West Milwaukee, Whitnall, Middleton-Cross Plains, Stoughton and Sun Prairie. 

How Grades Are Calculated

Students receive marks of 1, 2, 3 or 4 for all student assignments.

After three assessment marks are entered into a teacher’s gradebook they are averaged to identify a “point in time” letter grade. This letter grade will fluctuate as new marks are entered. At the end of the grading period, ALL marks in the gradebook are averaged to calculate a student’s letter grade. Example: a student in math received marks of 2, 3, 3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 and 4. The average is 3.0 and the letter grade would be a B. See the grading scales below for elementary and secondary students (the secondary grading scale includes pluses and minuses):

Elementary Students
Letter Grade Chart

Grade Average of Marks
Low end
Average of Marks
High end
A > 3.31 4.00
B > 2.61 3.31
C > 1.92 2.61
D > 1.23 1.92
F --  1.23 or below

 

Secondary Students (G7-12) Letter Grade and GPA Chart

These mark score ranges are equal intervals in a 13-point system with a range of 3 numbers. (3/13 = 0.23, 0.23 is the approximate span within each range)

End of Semester
Grade
Average of Marks
Low end
Average of Marks
High end
GPA Weighted GPA
(Advanced Placement)
          A+ > 3.77 4.00  4.0 5.0
          A > 3.54 3.77  4.0 5.0
          A- > 3.31 3.54  3.667 4.667
          B+ > 3.08 3.31  3.333 4.333
          B > 2.85 3.08  3.0 4.0
          B- > 2.62 2.85  2.667 3.667
          C+ > 2.38 2.62  2.333 3.333
          C > 2.15 2.38  2.0 3.0
          C- > 1.92 2.15  1.667 2.667
          D+ > 1.69 1.92  1.333 1.333
          D > 1.46 1.69  1.0 1.0
          D- > 1.23 1.46  0.667 0.667
          F -- 1.23 or below  0.0 0.0

 


Categories

To provide accurate, detailed information about student performance, report cards include not only the letter grade, but also “categories” of student learning within that subject or course. Category scores are the average of marks within that category. Example: a student received marks in the math category of Number and Operations of 2, 2, 2 and 3. The average is a 2.25, so the category score is a 2. In the updated system, category scores are not used to calculate the letter grade and are only shown to give students and parents more information.
 

Students in All Grades
Category Score Chart

These scores are equal intervals in a 4-point system with a range of 3 numbers. (3/4 = 0.75, 0.75 is the span within each range)

Range Category score
< 3.25 to 4 4
< 2.5 to 3.25 3
< 1.75 to 2.5 2
1 to 1.75 1
Below 1 Incomplete

 

Marking Student Work - Proficiency Levels in Achievement-Based Grading

1 2 3 4
The student demonstrates a limited understanding through frequent errors or inability to apply knowledge and skills successfully. The student demonstrates inconsistent understanding and has not applied knowledge and skills successfully The student demonstrates consistent understanding and applies knowledge and skills successfully.

The student demonstrates understanding and is able to consistently apply knowledge and skills to successfully analyze, create and/or evaluate.

0 - A zero may be used for no or very limited evidence of understanding, or for work that is missing. (NEW starting 2016-17)


Dispositions

Dispositions do not impact the letter grade. They are shown on the report card and reflect behaviors that are important to student success but are not academic in nature. These behaviors are a key part of the Vision of Our Graduate.


Quarter, Semester and Transcript Grades

The district provides students with quarter grades which are "point in time" grades designed solely to show the progress to date at the end of the quarter. However, semester grades - not quarter grades - are the grades that are recorded on secondary students' transcripts and are used to calculate grade point averages. Semester grades are the average of all marks across the entire semester and are a student's final grades; grades at the end of quarter one and quarter three should be considered more like progress grades.

Also, please note, grades are calculated three times a day: 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Grade Point Average Calculations and Weighted Grades

Grade point averages are calculated based on the chart below. The GPA chart assigns a grade point to students' end of the semester letter grades. Advanced Placement (AP) courses receive extra weight for GPA calculation. Students who receive a grade of A+ to C- in an AP course earn an extra 1.0. Students who receive AP course grades of D+ to F do not earn extra weight.

Secondary Students (G7-12) Letter Grade and GPA Chart

These mark score ranges are equal intervals in a 13-point system with a range of 3 numbers. (3/13 = 0.23, 0.23 is the approximate span within each range)

End of Semester
Grade
Average of Marks
Low end
Average of Marks
High end
GPA Weighted GPA
(Advanced Placement)
          A+ > 3.77 4.00  4.0 5.0
          A > 3.54 3.77  4.0 5.0
          A- > 3.31 3.54  3.667 4.667
          B+ > 3.08 3.31  3.333 4.333
          B > 2.85 3.08  3.0 4.0
          B- > 2.62 2.85  2.667 3.667
          C+ > 2.38 2.62  2.333 3.333
          C > 2.15 2.38  2.0 3.0
          C- > 1.92 2.15  1.667 2.667
          D+ > 1.69 1.92  1.333 1.333
          D > 1.46 1.69  1.0 1.0
          D- > 1.23 1.46  0.667 0.667
          F -- 1.23 or below  0.0 0.0

 

Cum Laude Graduation Program

The district has a Cum Laude Graduation program in which eligible students graduate with honors of cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. Read more about this program in the secondary student handbook.

Resources and Questions

More information about grading and reporting can be found in the Secondary Student Handbook.

If you have any questions about a grade, please contact the teacher. Other resources available are school principals.

School District of New Berlin