BCS uses a mastery-based grading system in which students are given multiple opportunities to master each of their learning targets over an extended period of time. Mastery supports a growth-oriented mindset and lifelong learning by shifting thinking away from education for the sake of a grade toward a more authentic learning experience.
Students are graded in two categories:
- Academic course learning targets aligned with New York State Standards (80%)
- Habits of Scholarship (20%)
|+||Habits of Scholarship(20%)||=||Final Course Grade(100%)|
Academic Course Learning Targets and Assessments
At BCS, teachers choose the learning targets that they will focus on each semester, aligned to state standards. They are written in student-friendly language and frequently reflected on.
Students are given 2-3 assessments to show mastery of each long-term target each semester. One assessment per semester evaluates all the semester learning targets at once. These tasks will be more challenging and robust, and include an annual performance-based assessment task (PBAT). PBATs are given in all grades, aligned to the BCS Learning Progressions and the Consortium rubrics. These are a chance for students to show their learning in a presentation or roundtable, as well as to prepare them for their Mastery PBATs (MPBATs) used for graduation requirements in grades 11 and 12.
In some of our courses, assessments are provided to students in Tiers. Each Tier is a chance for students to show the different levels of mastery they have reached. Students start at Tier 1 and progress upwards as they deepen their mastery. Tier 1 and 2 are completed in class with teacher/peer support; Tier 3 and 4 involve more independent work (showing mastery over multiple assessments and/or teaching the content to others).
Here is the grading scale:
|Mastery Level||Tier(If Applicable)||Numeric Range||Description||What Does It Mean?|
|Exemplary(EX)||Tier 4||90%-100%||Student exceeded the learning target. They need minimal support from teachers and are leading other students in the class with this skill.||“I can teach it!”|
|Accomplished(AC)||Tier 3||80%-89%||Student met the learning target. They are able to independently show their knowledge with minimal assistance from their teacher or peers.||“I can do it over multiple assessments. I own this.”|
|Competent(CO)||Tier 2||70%-79%||Student made progress towards the learning target. They are able to complete a task with help from a teacher or their peers.||“I can do it with help.”|
|Beginning(BE)||Tier 1||65%-69%||Student started to make progress towards the learning target. They are starting to understand the skill or content, but still need guided practice.||“I am on my way to being able to do it.”|
|8tThe minimum passing grade is 65%.|
|No Mastery Yet|
|N/A||55%-64%Fail||Student did not make progress yet towards the learning target yet. They have attended class sessions and lessons, but have not practiced the skill or content they are being assessed on.||“I can’t do it yet.”|
|No Evidence(NE)||N/A||45%||Student provided no evidence of progress towards the learning target yet. They have not attended the lessons in which these targets were taught.||“It hasn’t been submitted yet.”|
Additionally, some courses in the Upper Grades (9-12) offer an option for Tier 5- Honors Extension. Students take on additional tasks (e.g., read a new text, complete additional problem sets, facilitate breakout sessions during class, carry out an independent research project, develop tools/curriculum to model digital literacy for peers) and master the skills and content associated with it.
Habits of Scholarship
Assessments for the course Habits of Scholarship (HoS) learning target allow students to reflect on their progress with our schoolwide values.
Students complete self-reflections, and teachers provide additional feedback based on their own observations and records. Teachers use this information to work with students to set goals.
Habits of Scholarship should be seen as an opportunity to support students with growing their executive functioning skills, as well as to embrace our core values of Persistence, Responsibility, Collaboration.
I can exhibit Habits of Scholarship:
- I arrive on time.
- I persist to finish the assignment for my current mastery level and meet pacing deadlines.
- I advocate for myself and my classmates.
- I leave no trace and respect tech.
- I contribute by asking questions and engaging in conversations with peers and teachers.
- I collaborate with my peers to reach higher levels of mastery.
If a student has a documented, extreme extenuating circumstance (e.g., surgery, death in the family) that prevents them from completing the course during the semester, they will be given a non-credit-bearing mark of “NX” (“Incomplete”) on the transcript instead of a numeric grade. During the following semester, the teacher will offer the student opportunities to prepare for and take remaining summative assessments from the original semester to earn a passing grade. If the student successfully completes remaining course requirements by the end of the following semester, the original “NX” marks will be changed to regular grades (55, 65-100, or “P”) on the transcript.
If a student is newly admitted to the school from the middle of the semester onward and arrives prior to 3 school weeks before the last day of classes, they will receive a non-credit-bearing mark of “NL” (“New/Recent Admit”) instead of a numeric grade for all of their first semester courses. During the second semester, the teacher will offer the student opportunities to prepare for and take summative assessments from the first semester to earn a passing grade. When applicable, if the student makes up the first semester summative assessments and earns a passing grade, the original “NL” marks will be changed to credit-bearing marks on the transcript. If a student who is newly admitted arrives within 3 school weeks before the last day of classes, s/he will receive a non-credit bearing mark of “NL” (“new admit”) instead of a numeric grade for all of their first semester courses. These marks of “NL” will remain on the student’s transcripts. When an “NL” is resolved, it will be replaced by a numeric grade between 65-100 or “P.” If not resolved, it remains an “NL” on the student’s transcript (and they do not earn credit).
If a student in the Upper Grades (9-12) does not demonstrate mastery of the course learning targets by the end of the semester in a required course (56%-64%) and does not have a documented extenuating circumstance, they will receive a non-numeric mark of “NC” on the transcript (formerly referred to as “NU”). The student will then be scheduled for a course extension during the following semester, continuing to study with a teacher to master the required content. They must demonstrate mastery by the end of the following academic semester; once mastery is demonstrated, a new grade will be issued on the transcript (though the original mark of “NC” will remain on the transcript). If the student does not demonstrate mastery by the end of the following academic semester (or by an earlier deadline established by the teacher), the final official grade will be recorded as a 55. The highest grade for a course extension is 65.
If a student in the Lower Grades (6-8) does not demonstrate mastery of course learning targets by the end of a required year-long course, they may be scheduled for June Mastery Support or summer school. Decisions about summer school and promotion are based on a body of evidence including attendance, grades, and multiple assessment measures.
- Mid-semester progress reports are sent home twice per semester for all students. Transcripts with final grades are printed twice each school year (January and June) and mailed home.
- Students and families can access updated grade information online at any time through pupilpath.skedula.com with their login.