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Friday, September 28, 2018

SBG update

September 2018

Now that we have completed one full year of all grade levels utilizing Standards Based Grading, we've been hearing more questions about the practice, not so much why we do it, but "Why are we doing something so different than everyone else?"

I can give you the answer I gave staff a few years ago, "Its the Right Thing to do!"  That probably comes off a little arrogantly, but through research and development of the SBG practices we are actually doing something many of the best schools in Iowa are utilizing.  We are following research based structures and processes that will result in a better education for your students.

So to answer question about our standards based movement you can visit by Matt Townsly ( of UNI, formerly Solon Curriculum Director.  He did this survey in late 2017, so its a year old now, but the only differences are the additional schools investigating SBG.  In this study we see that we are not alone, the numbers:

  • 14 schools in Iowa, including NFV are in Full implementation, that is all grades practicing Standards based Grading and reporting.  These include
    • Des Moines
    • Ankeny
    • Sioux Center (2A)
    • Montezuma (1A)
    • Solon (3A)
    • Van Meter (1A)
    • Clear Creek Amana (one of the fastest growing districts in the state)
  • 19 schools in Iowa are Almost fully implementing, meaning they have not yet adopted it in all grade levels.  These include:
    • Cedar Falls
    • Charles City
    • Crestwood
    • Emmetsburg
    • Norwalk
    • Pella
    • Waukee (again fast growing district)
  • 29 are Beginning implementation, meaning that at least 1 teacher is piloting SBG with plans to expand to higher implementation within 2 years.  These include:
    • Aplington Parkersburg
    • Dunkerton
    • North Scott
    • Urbandale
    • Johnston
    • Xavier (Private School)
    • Newman Catholic (Private School)
    • Waverly Shell Rock
  • 44 Schools are investigating SBG, locally that includes:
    • Jesup
    • East Buchanan
    • Sumner Fredriksberg
    • Don Bosco Catholic
And recently we hosted a group from Oelwein who are asking to see how and why NFV implements Standards Based Grading.  Thats 62 districts using Standards Based Grading, thats nearly 20% of all districts in Iowa, and growing, with another 44, that adds up to 33% involved, 1 out of 3.

Change is difficult for everyone.  We are on the right track.  College admissions are adjusting and SBG will not hinder college application efforts.  Some Universities are utilizing SBG in their own classrooms, specifically in Education Departments.  We are proud of our staff's efforts to to make this system work.  we will continue to fine tune it, but there is no impetus to change as we truly believe "It's the right thing to do."

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