Standards Based Grading Parent Letter

Dear Parents/Guardians,                                                       


Ecker Hill Middle School is excited to introduce Standards Based Grading for the 2018-19 school year! Our previous grading system did not fully communicate what the students are expected to know as set forth by the Utah State Standards. While we recognize that with change comes challenges, this new approach to grading will benefit all stakeholders including students, teachers, and parents/guardians.


Standards Based Grading allows students to be more aware of what they are expected to learn and their progress through the Utah State Standards. It will provide parents with a more detailed outline of their student’s growth and achievement. We believe that clear communication between school and home throughout the course of the year is vital to our students’ success. We look forward to working together to provide your child the knowledge and tools needed to reach their fullest potential.


What changes will I see as a parent/guardian?

    Proficiency scores (1-4) will replace letter grades and percentage scores. The proficiency scores are tied to descriptions of what the students know and are able to do. Teachers will provide feedback to students and your child will have opportunities to meet proficiency (3) on the standards. Final grades are determined based on the most recent evidence of student learning.  Students will receive separate grades for being ready, respectful and responsible in all classes.


Proficiency Scale:

    • It is important that we as parents and teachers have honest, straight-forward conversations with our students about their learning and achievement. It is important that we convey to our students that learning is a process. Some concepts and skills are more difficult than others to learn. A score of 1 or 2 while learning a new skill or concept is appropriate and not intended to be punitive.
      A score of 3 is the target, it shows proficiency and is to be celebrated! A score of 4 indicates a student has reached proficiency and applied knowledge beyond the grade-level standard.


Standards Based Grading is on a scale from 1 to 4. 1 is beginning, 2 emerging, 3 is proficient with the standard, and 4 is advanced. Advanced means the student has gone beyond the standard.


How does the Standards Based Grading system compare to the traditional letter grade system?

    Standards Based Grading measures how well an individual student is doing in relation to the grade level standards, not the work of other students. This will give parents a better understanding of  their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Letter or numerical grades are often calculated by teacher’s expectations, performance on assignments and tests, effort, student behavior and how the student is doing in comparison to classmates. Letter or numerical grades do not inform parents which grade level skills their child is currently working on and which they have mastered.


My child has an IEP or a 504. How will they be assessed?


    There are modifications and accommodations in your child’s IEP or 504 to support their progress on grade-level standards as assessed on a Standards Based Grading system.



How do I get access to my child’s academic information electronically?

  • Parents will see how their child is progressing through the standards via Powerschool. For day-to-day information about what is happening in the classroom, parents can view Canvas, our learning management system. Our school will provide information during the following events: Parent PowerSchool/Canvas Nights, Standards Based Grading 101 for parents and during Parent/Teacher conferences.


A Standards Based Grade reporting system is designed to inform you about your child’s progress toward achieving specific learning standards. The Utah State Standards establish high and challenging expectations for all students. They describe what students should know and be able to do and serve as the basis for the Ecker Hill Middle School’s curriculum, instruction, and assessment model.


We at Ecker Hill Middle School are committed to providing your child with an exceptional education by providing high standards for achievement and cultivating a genuine passion for learning.


For more information or to address questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teachers.

Thank you for your partnership!


Samuel Salinas
Principal Ecker Hill Middle School
Inspiring and supporting all students equitably to achieve academic and social potential.