Competencies (Grades and Grading) (NASD policy IC, IK, IKA-E, IKAB, IL)

With the start of the 2019-2020 school year NMMS will be making the switch to a competency based grading system. This means that instead of letter grades student academic progress will be reported based upon the students’ mastery of the competencies at each grade level and for each subject. Student academic progress and growth will be communicated using the descriptors below.There are two parts to a Competency. The first part is the actual statement of competency describing what the students need to be able to do. This is then broken down into “Indicator Statements” that describe the specific skills that the students will be expected to learn in the given subject. Assessments will be attending to the individual indicator statements. Mastery of the overall competency will be connected to the work the student does in learning the expectations outlined in the Indicator Statements.

Advanced – The student consistently and independently demonstrates the ability to analyze, synthesize, and/o extend essential content knowledge and skills.

Proficient – The student consistently and independently demonstrates the ability to apply and transfer essential content, knowledge and skills.

Basic – The student demonstrates the ability to comprehend and apply essential content, knowledge and skills in a familiar task.

Developing – The student is beginning to demonstrate the application and transfer of essential content, knowledge and skills.

Insufficient Evidence – Student has provided insufficient evidence to formally assess proficiency of essential content, knowledge and skills.

Not Yet Assessed – The essential content, knowledge, and skills have not yet been formally assessed at this point in the school year.

In most cases the student in the middle school grade levels will be considered at grade level if he/she is consistently demonstrating mastery of competencies at the “Basic” and/or “Proficient” level. To be at the “Advanced” level is certainly achievable but will require the student to demonstrate on a consistent basis the ability to apply and synthesize (make connections) learning in a given content area. At the middle school grade levels it is important that parents/guardians and students not associate the levels of mastery of a competency with a traditional letter grade. To do so would falsely associate “Developing” with the letter grade of “D” or “F” and that is not accurate.

All grading decisions shall be made at the building level and the decision shall be final.

Final mastery of competency grades for year-long classes will be reported once at the end of the school year. However, for year-long classes there will be 7 progress reporting periods. Allied Arts classes (except for Chorus and Band) are nine weeks in duration (quarter long classes), academic achievement and progress for these classes will be reported through a mid-quarter progress report and an end of quarter final grade to indicate the level of mastery of competency.