In order to prepare our students for college, we, in collaboration with the Cristo Rey Network, have developed academic standards that each student must pass in each class in order to graduate. Passing standards is the basis of promotion from one grade to the next. Structured interventions and after-school tutoring are provided for students who need extra help completing standards.
Here are some frequently asked questions about a standards focused school:
Standards are individual skills or pieces of information that need to be demonstrated by students. Each class at Cristo Rey has a set of standards that teachers teach and assess.
The standards taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School were written by teams of teachers within the Cristo Rey Network using standards from Common Core, various state standards, and standards from the ACT as guides. Teachers worked to tailor the standards to what is truly essential for students to demonstrate in order to graduate from college. Each subject area has their own set of standards, each of which is taught throughout the year and demonstrated by students.
The purpose of standards-based grading is to report what specifically students know and are able to do. Passing a class is not so much tied to the completion of homework, but rather it is based on the demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the standards.
Teaching standards allows for teachers to be more explicit in the specific skill or piece of content that a lesson will center around. The standards provide teachers and students with a targeted and directed focus for lessons and assignments, which leads to clearer expectations for students. Further, standards-based grading is intended to prevent social promotion, in that a student cannot go on to the next grade until they have truly demonstrated proficiency for each individual standard. Standards-based grading also allows students to master skills at a pace that is appropriate for their style of learning. Students needing additional support will receive it, and students who are ready to excel can do so. Finally, this grading system expects all students to be successful by rising to consistently high expectations.
Students must demonstrate proficiency on all of the standards assessed in each course to graduate or be promoted to the next grade level.
When a student does not pass a standard, their attempt to pass the standard is recorded, extra support is offered (both during class and outside of normal class time), and supplemental assignments are completed until the student achieves the skill. In this way, students are expected to demonstrate proficiency on every standard taught in the curriculum.
4.0: A student demonstrated proficiency beyond the standard on this attempt.*
3.0: A student demonstrated proficiency on this attempt.*
2.0: The student did not demonstrate proficiency on that attempt.
1.0: Even with support, the student did not demonstrate proficiency on that attempt.
0.0: The student did not attempt to show proficiency within the time allotted.
*Students are awarded an additional .25 points when they show proficiency on their first attempt, but students cannot exceed a 4.0 in any class for any session thereby limiting their GPAs to a 4.0 scale.
|Participation and Engagement||25%|
A student’s GPA is calculated by averaging the course GPA for each class (see above description) and the Corporate Work Study Program Grade. One example is below:
|Spanish 2 (Heritage)||3.0|
The standards based system is different because it is based upon criteria aligned to a standard and seeks to clearly separate what a student knows and is able to do from the contributing work habits that we call academic behaviors. In addition to standard grades, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School assesses students on their engagement, assignment completion, and daily practice.