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Archive for Topic: 'Grading Practices'

Board Discusses Effective Grading Practices April 28


(Photo if Rick Wormeli. Source:

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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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

Topics: Grading Practices, School Board News