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.

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Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 Agenda

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


  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.


  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)
  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:; Definition from the Iowa Department of Education
    2. Group 2- Slide 5:; Definition from the Education Commission of the States
    3. Group 3- Slide 6:; 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
  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.