Secondary

Grading Updates

In line with our strategic plan goal of developing and implementing standards-based grading and reporting we are making the changes detailed below. Our practices are rooted in the beliefs that grading needs to clearly communicate student achievement to all stakeholders; represents where a learner is on their journey, and provides feedback for improvement and continued growth.

For each of your child’s courses they will be receiving an “academic” grade (using the traditional 0-100 scale) that reflects their achievement towards meeting content standards for that course.

They will also receive “learning behavior” scores (using a standards-based 1-4 scale) that reflect a set of behaviors that we consider essential to enable learning. By separating an achievement grade from behavior scores we are able to provide more specific information about your child as a learner.

Learning Behavior RubricOur learning behavior rubric provides the framework for scoring the specific behaviors. This was developed over the last several months by the Secondary faculty following a collaborative and comprehensive process. The three specific behaviors that your child will be given a score on are:

·  Engagement
·  Responsibility
·  Integrity

The rubric provides a specific definition of each of these behaviors and how a student can demonstrate if they are: 1 (needing improvement); 2 (approaching expectations); 3 (meeting expectations); 4 (exceeding expectations). Throughout the quarter, teachers have used this rubric with students, allowed opportunity for self-reflection, and have provided feedback. Their final learning behavior rubric will be posted to Brightspace on October 25th when report cards are released. Finally, as you can see, two of these behaviors correlate directly to our school’s community values. We shared all of this information during our first Secondary Family Forum in September and you can access that zoom recording by clicking here.

Community TimeCommunity time is an integral part of our school day. This new programming is designed to build community, develop social-emotional skills and build self-advocacy. We are continually developing, reflecting, and adjusting this programming to meet the needs of our students and faculty. We want to communicate the importance of this programming and therefore, students will receive a single score (using a standards-based 1-4 scale) on their report card. Our Community Time rubric provides the framework for scoring their level of engagement.

Our Physical Education Department PE has transitioned from a traditional 0-100 scale and students will now receive one of the following scores based on a set of relevant standards and learning behaviors: pass with distinction (PD); pass (P); fail (F). PE classes will not count towards a student’s GPA or academic award requirements but students need to pass the course to receive credit.

These are important first steps towards transforming our teaching, learning, and assessment practices to improve the way we communicate a student’s achievement. We look forward to continuing this journey together.

Looking AheadWe are excited to announce that we are organizing class trips in partnership with Explora: educacion fuera del aula, to incorporate opportunities to build community and extend our learning outside of campus. Each grade level will have a unique trip planned and the grade level sponsor and administrator will be in touch with more information.

We are looking forward to celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Escuela Americana in November. We are planning many activities with the students to celebrate our history and our future together.

In December we will have our first Performing Arts Celebrations of the year. As you know, our Arts programming across the school has grown significantly this year and we will be showcasing our students through a variety of performance opportunities. Stay tuned for more information!

Communication RemindersPlease remember to continue to reach out directly to your child’s teacher and counselor if you have any questions or concerns about their academic work or social-emotional needs. If you need further support please reach out to your grade level administrator: Mr. Michael Gohde (gohde.michael@amschool.edu.sv; Grades 6 & 9); Mr. Mario Martinez (martinez.mario@amschool.edu.sv; Grades 7 & 10); Ms. Christian Strayhorn (strayhorn.christian@amschool.edu.sv; Grades 8 &11); or me for Grade 12.

Thank you for your continued support. Please reach out to the Secondary office if you have any questions or concerns.

Warm regards,