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Effective Grading Practices Task Force Meets Jan. 25

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan.25, 2017, in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

Teacher grading papers.

Close-up of teacher’s hands grading papers.

The purpose of this task force is to address the district strategic plan goal area on consistent, effective grading practices in the West Des Moines Community Schools. The task force is charged with researching and identifying effective grading practices and providing specific recommendations to the WDMCS Board of Education for grades K-12 in the district. Additionally, the task force will recommend professional learning needs for staff, communication needs to students and families, and a timeline for implementation.

For more information, please visit: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/.

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 Agenda

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Community Room
Learning Resource Center
3550 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa

Outcomes

  1. Complete self-assessment in groups (Admin, Teachers, Parents)
  2. Develop shared understanding of various models of effective grading
  3. Decide on a continuum of implementation for effective grading practices

Agenda

  • 5:30-6:00: Groups complete self-assessment
  • 6:00-6:15:  Groups share areas from self-assessment that show a need for improvement/action/discussion; Compile and collect data
  • 6:15-7:15: Learning Stations Activity- Continuum Introduce; Be thinking about self-assessment; Station 1- Review Traditional Grading Practices (20 mins)- Rob Schebel; Station 2- Read Handout on 15 Fixes for Grading- O’Connor (20 mins)- Tom; Station 3- Competency Based Webinar- Nathan (20 mins); View 17 mins of this video http://knowledgeworks.org/worldoflearning/2013/07/competency-education-webinar-series/ – 3:04-4:40 Intro, 8:10-12:50 CBE Overview, 29:50-44:00 Iowa CBE
  • 7:15: Continuum- What does the West Des Moines School District have the capacity for in terms of effective grading practices?

WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 Agenda

Future Meeting Dates

Wed., Feb 22, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar 29, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., May 31, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Topics: Grading Practices

What’s the Purpose of Grades? Task Force Clarifies

Members of the WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force have defined why students in our schools receive grades.

“The purpose of grades is to communicate the level of achievement of course standards to students and parents,” according to a statement the task force approved at its meeting on November 30.

WDMCS Superintendent Lisa Remy, Ed.D. said clarifying the purpose of grading helps the task force in its work to research, identify, and recommend effective grading practices for the district.

Members of the task force developed several versions, which were narrowed down to two. They then voted on two statements with 29 out of 31 task force members present supporting the approved purpose statement.

The next Effective Grading Practices meeting will be held on at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. To stay up-to-date with the task force’s work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/. Meeting minutes and summaries will continue to be posted there. All meetings are open to the public.

Topics: Grading Practices

Read Along with the Grading Practices Task Force

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force has been meeting regularly since Sept. 28, 2016, to focus on the district’s goal to address grading practices in the WDMCS. The task force will present its work to the WDMCS Board of Education on May 8, 2017.

The task force will next meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017, in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. To stay up-to-date with the task force’s work, please visit www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/. Meeting minutes and summaries will continue to be posted there. All meetings are open to the public.

In addition to the items addressed at each meeting, the Grading Practices Task Force is reviewing research and literature connected to grading practices. To read along with the task force, look for the following books:

  • “On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting” by Thomas R. Guskey
  • “Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading” by Robert J. Marzano
  • “A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades” by Ken O’Connor
  • “Fair Isn’t Always Equal: Assessing and Grading in the Differentiated Classroom” by Rick Wormelli

Print the Read Along Guide

en español

Topics: Grading Practices

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Nov. 30

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

Teacher grading papers.

Close-up of teacher’s hands grading papers.

The purpose of this task force is to address the district strategic plan goal area on consistent, effective grading practices in the West Des Moines Community Schools. The task force is charged with researching and identifying effective grading practices and providing specific recommendations to the WDMCS Board of Education for grades K-12 in the district. Additionally, the task force will recommend professional learning needs for staff, communication needs to students and families, and a timeline for implementation.

For more information, please visit: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 Agenda

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Community Room
Learning Resource Center
3550 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa

Outcomes

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of effective grading practices by examining the standards-based modules from the Iowa Department of Education
  2. Participants can learn from national resources, other states, and Iowa educators who have undertaken this approach and how many aspects of their systems need to be considered in making this significant change. https://iowacore.gov/content/standards-based-education-modules

Agenda

  1. Review/discuss norms (5 mins)
  2. Approve Purpose Statement for grading- Action/approval needed from taskforce
  3. Activity- Show this video from Kentucky featuring Guskey/Jung and others (15 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt_rkouQeeQ&feature=youtu.b
  4. Groups- Slides 4, 5, and 6 (15-20 mins): Develop an understanding of what standards-based grading is – Definition; Groups share out with the whole group
    1. Group 1- Slide 4: https://softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/r63ZVqg4tWXusn/html; Definition from the Iowa Department of Education
    2. Group 2- Slide 5: https://softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/r63ZVqg4tWXusn/html; Definition from the Education Commission of the States
    3. Group 3- Slide 6: https://softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/r63ZVqg4tWXusn/html; Definition from MCREL
  5. Group Reflection- (5 mins)” Now that you have reviewed three different definitions of standards-based education, identify the following:
    1. Commonalities among all three definitions
    2. Differences among all three definitions
    3. Take a moment to write your own personal definition of standards-based learning.
  1. Complete the self-assessment rubric- Slide 8 (30-45 mins): Rubric at this link https://softchalkcloud.com/lesson/files/r63ZVqg4tWXusn/Self%20Assessment%20Rubric.pdf
  2. End with reflection, group consensus.
  3. Conclude with going back to purpose statement

WDMCS Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, Agenda 

Future Meeting Dates

Wed., Jan 25, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb 22, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar 29, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., May 31, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Topics: Grading Practices

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Oct. 26

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Grading Practices Task Force will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, in the Media Center at Valley High School, 3650 Woodland Ave., in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

Teacher grading papers.

The purpose of this task force is to address the district strategic plan goal area on consistent, effective grading practices in the West Des Moines Community Schools. The task force is charged with researching and identifying effective grading practices and providing specific recommendations to the WDMCS Board of Education for grades K-12 in the district. Additionally, the task force will recommend professional learning needs for staff, communication needs to students and families, and a timeline for implementation.

For more information, please visit: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Agenda
5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Review from last meeting
  • Report out on “homework”
  1. Research and professional literature that supports traditional grading practices (points, percentages).
  2. Grading policies from other Iowa schools
  3. Employee evaluations (business)
  • Use data to create a “Purpose of Grading”

WDMCS Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Agenda

WDMCS Grading Practices Task Force – Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 Meeting Minutes

Future Meeting Dates
Wed., Nov 30, 2016 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan 25, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb 22, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar 29, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., April 26, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Wed., May 31, 2017 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Topics: Grading Practices

Grading Practices Task Force Meets Sept. 28

The WDMCS Effective Grading Practices Task Force will hold its first meeting of the year from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Learning Resource Center. All Effective Grading Practices Task Force meetings are open to the public. A full meeting schedule is below.

The study is part of the district’s strategic plan and the School Board’s priority goals for Superintendent Lisa Remy for the 2016-17 school year. More information about the task force is available here: www.wdmcs.org/category/grading-practices/

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, Agenda
5:30-7:30 pm
Purpose of the task force
Review Norms of the task force
Data from Meeting #1
Small group #1: article de-brief
Small group #2: by book
Small group #3: jigsaw (one representative from each book in a new group)
Start with the end in mind: What skills, abilities, attributes should WDMCS graduates possess?

Effective Grading Practices Task Force Meeting Schedule
All meetings are from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

  • Sept. 28, 2016
  • Oct. 26, 2016
  • Nov. 30, 2016
  • Jan. 25, 2017
  • Feb. 22, 2017
  • March 29, 2017
  • April 26, 2017
  • May 31, 2017

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News

Grading Practices Under Review

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education has appointed a task force to review the district’s grading practices.

On May 9th, the School Board approved a 51-member task force that will look at the district’s current grading practices, study national research on effective practices, and possibly recommend changes to how students are graded.

Drake University Associate Professor of Education Dr. Thomas Buckmiller and Solon High School Principal Nathan Wear will facilitate the task force of parents, community members, teachers, administrators, and School Board members. Both facilitators have an extensive background in effective grading practices and have worked with schools in Iowa and across the nation in this area.

The task force will complete its work during the 2016-17 school year and provide a recommendation in the spring of 2017.

The committee meetings will be open to the public.

Effective Grading Practices Task Force Membership List

 

Topics: Grading Practices, Informaline, School Board News

Board Discusses Effective Grading Practices April 28

WormeliWeb

(Photo if Rick Wormeli. Source: twitter.com/rickwormeli2)

The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education will hold a special workshop session at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. This meeting is open to the public.

National education speaker Rick Wormeli will talk with WDMCS Board of Education members about effective grading practices. One of the first Nationally Board Certified teachers in America and Disney’s American Teacher Awards 1996 Outstanding English Teacher of the Nation, Wormeli has more than 30 years of experience in education. Learn more here.

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School Board Meeting Materials

School Board Information

School Board Meeting Calendar

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News

WDMCS Board Cautions Slow Approach to Changing Grading Practices

During a recent special meeting, members of the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) Board of Education cautioned district administrators to move slowly and involve parents in any effort to change the district’s current grading practices.

Book CoverThe school board held the second of two workshop sessions on February 29 to study grading practices. Board members read “Rethinking Grading” by Dr. Cathy Vatterott, which examines traditional grading practices and presents effective methods for standards-based learning and assessment.

“Parents need to be a huge part of it from the beginning,” said School Board Member Tali Greenspon, noting the opposition other districts faced when trying to change practices. Her comment was echoed by several other Board members, who suggested that the district establish a task force to study the topic.  

According to a survey of other area school districts, Des Moines, Waukee, Ankeny, Dallas Center-Grimes, and Van Meter are implementing standards-based grading at some level, while Johnston and Urbandale have started conversations.

The administration will review the district’s plan to study research-based best practices in effective grading and report back to the School Board at a later date.

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News

WDMCS Board of Education Studies “Rethinking Grading”

Book CoverThe West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will be holding a book study of Dr. Cathy Vatterott’s “Rethinking Grading” during two special workshop meetings on Feb. 15 and 29. The book examines traditional grading practices and offers a new paradigm for grading that focuses on student mastery of content and authentically reflecting student progress and learning.

Researching and studying effective grading practices is part of the district’s strategic plan. For more information about the plan, visit www.wdmcs.org/district/mission-vision-goals-actions-plans/.

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News