Grading for Learning: Middle Level

For the past several years, the Appleton Area School District has studied methods of grading that accurately reflect and report student learning. This work has resulted in a standards-based approach that we call Grading for Learning. We believe this will assist our teachers to authentically and accurately communicate student achievement on the identified course standards.

Standards-based instruction and grading expands the instructional purposes of grading. 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.  

Pilot Courses

During the 2017-2018 school year, select teachers of English Language Arts 7 and 8 courses have been teaching using a standards-based instruction and assessment model that involves using rubrics to measure student proficiency on well-defined course standards.

The cumulative proficiency level in each standard cluster (Reading, Writing, Listening/Speaking, and Language) will be analyzed and will continue to be converted to a traditional letter grades. This grade will appear in Infinite Campus at the end of each reporting period. 

To date, the middle school progress report reflected the Appleton Area School District’s expectations for academics and learning/work habits integrated into one letter grade for a course. 

In all middle level courses there will be an academic letter grade representing the student’s learning related to the academic course standards and a separate mark will be given for Career and Life Skills. Career and Life Skills progress will be reported out at the end of each semester.

Marking Student Work-Proficiency Levels in Standards-Based Grading

Insufficient Evidence
A student at the mastery level is able to apply and adapt to new situations or real-world situations outside of the context in which it was taught. The student demonstrates a level of understanding that seamlessly connects related or previously explored concepts.
A student demonstrates competence within the standards. While the student has not yet consistently achieved more advanced demonstrations, the student has fully met the expectations of the content standard.
A student has basic conceptual understanding of the content standard but needs scaffolded practice to apply it.
A student is not yet able to demonstrate understanding of the specific grade level/course level standards.
A student has not yet submitted the requisite amount of evidence to justify a passing level. Either whole pieces of evidence are missing or the submitted evidence is incomplete.

Example of English Language Arts Proficiency Rubric

Career and Life Skills (7th and 8th)

Learning/work habits play an important role in a student’s success and are also an important factor in your student’s preparation for college and careers. 

Teachers will be communicating with parents using a separate mark indicating the student’s Career and Life Skills in each course. On the semester report card, parents will see a mark for each course in the following three categories: 

  • Social and Cross-cultural
  • Productivity and Accountability
  • Initiative and Self-direction

Middle Level Career and Life Skills Rubric

Middle Level Career and Life Skills Rubric


Middle Level Informational Parent Letter
Middle Level Career and Life Skills Frequency Rubric 2017-2018
Parent's Guide to Middle School Standards-Based Progress Reports
Grading for Learning: Career and Life Skills Presentation
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.