Grading for Learning and Parent Canvas Accounts

Grading for Learning and Parent Canvas Accounts
Posted on 09/12/2019
Dear Parent/Guardian:  

As the Appleton Area School District (AASD) continues to improve teaching and learning for all students, we know that parents, guardians, and families are our most valuable partners. Communicating student progress with families is critical to these partnerships.

For the past several years, AASD has implemented curricula  development, instructional practices and methods of  grading that more accurately reflect and report student learning. This work has resulted in a standards-based approach that we call Grading for Learning.

More information on Grading for Learning.

Ultimately, we believe this will assist our teachers to authentically and accurately communicate student achievement on the identified course standards.

Standards-based grading: 
clarifies learning goals/targets,  
clearly identifies success criteria for learning goals/targets
states clear indications of student strength/weaknesses,  
provides information on career and life skills, and  
supports instructional practices that maximize student motivation.  

Standards-based instruction and grading continues and maintains information collected for promotion, graduation, athletic eligibility, awards, honors, reports to the community and employers, college acceptance, scholarships, and entrance to vocational programs.

During the 2019-2020 school year, select courses have been using a standards-based instruction and assessment model that involves rubrics to measure students' proficiency on well-defined course standards. The cumulative scores on these rubrics are then converted to traditional letter grades.

Please note, student work will continue to culminate in an academic letter grade representing the student’s learning in the class, just as in years past. This grade will appear in Infinite Campus at the end of each reporting period. We encourage you to check Canvas for the most up-to-date information on the work your student is completing in the course.

Establishing Your Canvas Parent Account

Canvas is a tool which allows teachers to communicate more detailed information about students' progress in meeting standards. Students, parents and teachers will be able to observe the quality of student work in Canvas. 

As a Canvas observer, you will see:
assessment and feedback assigned for practice activities;
grades or points assigned for summative assessments such as tests and quizzes 
upcoming as well as completed/incomplete assignments;
details about the units and assignments, as well as  rubrics used to assess student work 
track your student’s progress on Career and Life Skills 
Within the Canvas course, you see everything your student sees, including the grading scale, the feedback rubrics, the assignments and the resources the teacher provides as part of the course.

Additionally, under the “Parent Resource” tab, you will find helpful hints on navigating Canvas.

The teachers using standards-based instruction will provide feedback on a Career and Life Skills rubric which assesses the skills, dispositions, and attitudes students bring to their school work. This feedback, while not factored into your student’s grade point average, will indicate areas of strength and opportunities for growth and provide you with additional information on your child.