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Middle School Announcements

PHMS Parents/Guardians and Students, teachers will begin using the Standards Based Grading marks (1,2,3,4) this week in the Parent Portal. If you have questions regarding what the mark means, please feel free to contact the teacher.

Parent Guide to Standards-Based Grading

posted Sep 29, 2016, 1:42 PM by Allison Dishman

PHMS - Parent Guide to Standards Based Grading

At PHMS, we envision a student-friendly report card with clearly defined learning targets aligned to high quality, balanced assessments that will bridge our elementary and high school grading formats. Our Standards-Based Report Card seeks to provide meaningful feedback so both students and parents can track student progress toward mastery of key academic concepts, reflect upon strengths and weaknesses, and identify multiple pathways to deeper learning.


What is standards-based grading?

Standards-based grading communicates how students are performing on a set of clearly defined learning targets called standards. The purpose of standards-based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to pre-established learning targets, as opposed to simply averaging grades/scores over the course of a grading period, which can mask what a student has learned, or not learned, in a specific course.

How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?

Unlike with traditional grading systems, a standards-based grading system measures a student’s mastery of grade-level standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance. Thus a student who may have struggled at the beginning of a course, when first encountering new material, may still be able to demonstrate mastery of key content/concepts by the end of a grading period. In a traditional grading system, a student’s performance for an entire quarter is averaged together. Early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with more proficient performance later in the course, resulting in a lower overall grade than current performance indicates.

How are my student’s marks determined?

A student’s performance on a series of assessments (both formative and summative) will be used to determine a student’s overall grade in a course. Practice assignments (classwork) are just that, practice, and thus should serve primarily as a source of feedback and instructional support for both students and teachers. Scores on practice assignments should not be used as a major component of a student’s academic grade. Teachers may require students to complete all of their practice work prior to allowing them to take, or retake, an assessment.

What will each of the numbers in the 4 point scale represent?

A score of (1) would indicate minimal understanding of a standard. The student shows limited evidence of understanding the standard.

A score of (2) would indicate that a student is developing an understanding of a standard, but still may be in need of additional instruction and/or support.

A score of (3) would indicate that a student has independently achieved the standard. The student demonstrates mastery of the standard.

A score of (4) would indicate that a student exceeds a standard by consistently demonstrating an advanced level of understanding and/or the ability to apply their knowledge at a higher level.

How should a student/parent view student grades now that the system of A-F has been replaced by a 4 point scale? What is considered to be an A in the new grading system?

You cannot really compare a traditional grading system to standards-based grading. It is like comparing “apples to oranges”. Standards-based grading identifies a standard and indicates whether or not a student is meeting the standard at a given point in the school year. A score of (3) is defined as meeting grade level standards and indicates that a student has demonstrated mastery of the skills that were expected to be learned by that point in the grading period.

Is it possible to achieve a grade of 4?

Yes it is. However, a score of (4) indicates performance that is consistently above what is expected for mastery at that point in the school year. Level 4 work would indicate a much deeper understanding of a standard, the ability to apply that knowledge, make connections and extend learning beyond the targeted goal.

How will I know if my student needs help?

Receiving a 1 or 2 on a grade report/report card can be a sign that a student is in need of extra support in the areas where they are receiving low marks. This is one benefit of a standards-based report card, areas in need of support are clearly evident.

Where else in the area is standards-based grading being implemented?

It is important to note that our elementary schools have been utilizing a four point grading system for several years, so it will not be new to the majority of our families. It is also under study, or already implemented, in a number of school districts in the area, including elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

I hope this information answers questions and addresses concerns you may have. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me or your student’s classroom teachers.

On Your Mark...Get Set....TEST!!!

posted Mar 28, 2016, 6:33 AM by Jason Taylor   [ updated Mar 28, 2016, 6:34 AM ]

This week, 3/28/16-4/1/16, we will be doing ELA MAP test preparations at the Middle School. 

The Book Fair will also be going on this week in the library. This is a great opportunity for our students to get their favorite books to read. 

Spring Happenings...

posted Mar 16, 2016, 9:37 AM by Allison Dishman   [ updated Mar 16, 2016, 11:24 AM ]

Third quarter grade cards will be mailed home on Wednesday, March 16.

PHMS Spring Softball and Track seasons have begun and are starting strong!

In house yearbook orders are final, buy there is still time to order online. Online yearbook orders due by Monday, March 21.

AR Reading Reward Dodgeball Tournament will be Friday morning, March 18.

Students exhibiting "EGG"cellent behavior will participate in a creative activity to celebrate meeting P.I.R.A.T.E Behavior expectations.

Sun Safety Prevention presentations will be Wednesday, March 23.

All students are participating in MAP Test prep activities during the week of March 14-18.

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