Why is Olympia High School changing to this system?
Skills based reporting achieves our ultimate purpose which is to communicate student performance most accurately and meaningfully. Skills-based practices help achieve this goal by ensuring a student's grade is reflective of learning based on standards as well as the most important skills of a discipline.
What does this system do for a student GPA and ranking?
Students receive a grade point average based on each grade received. Since students will still receive a final grade at the end of the semester, student grade point averages will be configured in exactly the same way they have been done in the past. Student ranking is no longer reported - the focus is on student learning not how students rank against other students in the class. Students will still be reported for honor roll and high honors in the same manner.
Does this system make it more difficult to earn an A?
Any rigorous system should challenge students to receive the highest possible grade. Since a student must have a preponderance of 4's, the student must perform at the highest level on the majority of assignments. In order to achieve this level, a student may have to reassess. In the end, each of the achievement levels (1-4) should be clearly delineated through the success criteria rubric created by the classroom teacher.
Why do homework if it is not graded?
We view homework as practice - practice of skills is just that - it is an opportunity for the student to show his/her mastery level. Students grades should be determined on their overall mastery of skills not compliance of doing what is asked of them. We ask students to practice with homework assignments, and some do and some don't which is similar to the system we currently have. In this system, students are making a conscious choice to not complete the work which in the long run will have an impact on their learning.
Do students have less homework in this system?
Work that is assigned to students is more purposeful. Some of the work that students complete requires the supervision of the instructor in order to know how the student is learning the material. These two factors could contribute to students having less homework. When a student is assigned a paper or project as a summative assessment, time is often given by the instructor to help the student complete it as a mastery level.