One of the most prominent topics of discourse in education is effective grading practices. In 2016-2017, GEMS American Academy identified the development of effective grading practices as our next step in our continual commitment to improve the learning for each student. This led us to where we are today: a standards-based learning environment.
In the second half of the 2016-2017 school year, the Secondary School at GAA collectively inquired into the true meaning of assessment. Using research from renowned educators, such as Tom Schimmer, Thomas Guskey, and others, we began to create a meaningful and intentional philosophy of learning.
In the year to follow, the 2017-2018 academic school year, a specific Assessment and Grading Team was put together with educators from all subject areas. The goal was to create a ‘true north’, or common understanding of learning and assessment. Throughout the year, all teachers were using their standards-based mindset to critically and creatively adapt their teaching practice. Their successes were shared and a common vision became more clear.
In the 2018-2019 school year, our Secondary division established a new structure of support for the GAA community including a Standards-Based Learning Team and professional development with Dr. Thomas Guskey. With our newly adopted online grading and reporting software, students, teachers, and parents are able to see how a student is achieving - at any moment of the year - with much more detail than ever before.