Guide for Standards-Based Learning (SBL) 

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Want just the basics of this initiative? See this one-page flyer.

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While SDUSD elementary schools have been using Standards-Based Learning (SBL) practices for some years, secondary schools are now transitioning learning and grading practices towards a Standards-Based Learning framework. As partners in your student's educational journey, we are excited to share with you what that means and what shifts you can expect throughout this process.

What is Standards-Based Learning (SBL)?

SBL is an approach to learning that helps track students' progress towards a set of clearly defined prioritized standards (Critical Concepts). Teachers use consistent and targeted feedback with students, in alignment with these Critical Concepts, to support their growth in what they know (knowledge) and what they can do (skills). For secondary students, student scores are used at the end of a course to determine a final letter grade based on a student's demonstrated level of proficiency. 

This video from our partners at Nampa School District clearly breaks down why grading in a standards-based learning system provides better data on student learning for families, educators and students.

Why Standards-Based Learning?

Best practices in SBL lead to greater consistency, clarity, accuracy, and equity in teaching, assessment, and grading. How? 

Clearly defined learning goals TK-12 help create alignment across the district and strengthen instructional focus in classrooms. 

✭ Students have the opportunity to demonstrate progress towards learning goals in multiple times and in multiple ways

Student feedback and self-assessment opportunities provide clarity and support collaborative goal setting opportunities. 

Emphasis is placed on the learning process, not just a final grade. 

Grades reflect students' academic progress in clearly defined learning goals (non-academic factors are removed from the academic grade).

Drawing on best practices within Standards-Based Learning, what might you experience? 

For more details about our District priorities for advancing Standards-Based Learning go to the FAQ tab.