Standards-based grading is utilized by the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) Preparatory School. Standards are clearly stated for each subject at each grade level. Students are assigned a number that indicates where they are in meeting each standard as follows:
1 = Below Standard (acceptable at the beginning of the year)
2 = Approaches Standard (expected during the academic school year)
3 = Meets Standard (our goal for all students at the end of the year)
4 = Exceeds Standard (used in rare instances when a student demonstrates ability beyond the stated standard)
Standards are stated for each specific grade level. Students are expected to meet these standards by the end of the school year. Therefore, students are expected to get ones and twos in the beginning of the school year and threes by the end of the year. Fours are given only when students have surpassed the standard and it occurs rarely. Through the use of assessment and evaluation, teachers are able to monitor student progress, identify and meet individual student needs, and enhance instruction in the classroom.
Assessment and evaluation are defined as follows:
- Assessment determines student knowledge or learning progress at one specific time.
- Evaluation assigns a ranking, grade, or score to student learning.
It is important for teachers to engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. Specifically, teachers will endeavor to:
- Use multiple teaching methods and systematically gather data about student understanding and ability.
- Analyze assessment data to guide teaching.
- Guide students in self-assessment.
- Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to reflect on and improve teaching practice.
- Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to report student achievement and learning opportunities for students, teachers, parents, policy makers, and the general public.
Assessment will be consistent with goals:
- Assessment tasks will be authentic and valid.
- Assessments will be fair.
- Assessments will be based only on what has been taught in the program.
- Assessments will be weighted according to the importance of the learning outcomes being assessed (large-scale assessments will be statistically sound).
- The inferences made from assessments about student achievement and opportunity to learn will be sound (data will be used to make instructional decisions).
At any time during the school year, if a student’s progress is not satisfactory, the teacher will contact his or her parents and ask them to come in to work together with the teacher to develop a plan of action that will promote success for the student.
RUSVM uses a web based reporting system with standards based grading. Report cards are issued at the end of each trimester. Teachers keep accurate records to support the grades given to their students. Parents are requested to sign the report cards and return them within three days.
Although we do our best to accommodate parents, unless there is an emergency or special circumstance, our policy is that report cards are not issued before the last day of school for these reasons:
- Our academic program continues through the last day of the school year.
- Our system is set up to finish classes and turn grades in at a specific time each trimester.