Data & AssessmentElementary Report Cards For Admin (Additional Tools and Reports)Admin's Guide to Setting Up Report Cards for Standards Based Gradebooks

Admin's Guide to Setting Up Report Cards for Standards Based Gradebooks

This lesson is a System Admin's Guide to building Elementary Report Cards in support of Standards Based Grading.

Implementing a Standards Based grading practice needs a specific and delicate setup structure, in order to truly provide a reflection of a student's growth and mastery during a grading period.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can decimal values be used?

Yes. If the use of decimals is part of teacher's Standards Based Gradebook practice, then you will want to make sure the Elementary Report Card is setup to accurately calculate grades accordingly.

What is a “strand” again?

A “strand” is a combination of standards, of any standards. This affords admins a high level of configuration and allows them to combine standards into “quasi-overall scores.”

Why are there no weights for “standard/strand” RC field types?

Could you imagine the confusion? Could you imagine?! But truly based on a pure Standards Based practice, weighting standards defeats the purpose of students' showing growth over time.

Before You Get Started

Have you trained your teachers on Standards Based Gradebooks?

Training is key, especially if the practice is new. Illuminate always to act as a supplement to support what you are choosing to be best for your students. Recommended training would be the following for the best support of implementing Gradebooks and/or Report Cards:

  • Standards Based Gradebook Training for Teachers Beginning of School Year, preferably after Professional Development of learning the practice if new to the District or LEA
  • Gradebook Follow-Up, Refresher, and Linking Assessments An early to mid-Grading Period check is also helpful to refresh grading practices, assist in changes necessary by Leadership, and encourage the use of Assessment Linking
  • Report Card Entry for Teachers A week or two prior the entry window, provide grade level entry trainings to teachers on various entry options, printing, and gradebook configurations
Have you created and finalized a Standards Based Report Card?

It is not secret that teachers, students, and parents, do not like surprises. We recommend that when building a Standards Based Report Card, is not a surprise to any member of the audience. For a number of reasons, this supports:

Teachers, so that if grading is conducted as expected and taught, report cards shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

Parents are given an official document or information on the progress of their child(ren). Afterall, it is just a parent's guide to their child(ren)'s growth, is it not?

Students are typically already aware of their growth in a pure Standards Based classroom, so the report card should also not be such a surprise.

Bottom line is share the document with teachers from the beginning, even the very first gradebook training. This way the reason for practice is clear and the outcome is the Elementary Report Card.

Where to Start

Most likely, you have already begun the Elementary Report Card setup process. The following setup elements are in support of linking Standards Based Gradebooks to the Elementary Report Card.

Gradebook Practices and Training

From the start, if teachers use gradebook appropriately and in support of Report Card, the end of the grading period will not be as stressful, but a celebration!

Teachers are required to associate their assignments to the appropriate standards in a Standards Based Gradebook. Each assignment or opportunity to show growth is a single assignment, tied to a single standard.

The standard acts as the “common denominator” between the Gradebook and the Report Card. Basically, the Report Card looks for the values associated to the standards selected for the Report Card field.

Training Considerations

Setting Up Gradebook Details

It is important to make sure training includes having teachers' set the approrpiate settings as desired by the District/LEA. While the Gradebook and Report Card can be different or calculate grades differently, it may help to consider in your implementation because there are two different opportunities for telling the students story and progress on skills. The gradebook displays on portal for students and parents to see their progress anytime based on the teacher's gradebook settings. The report card while only provided a few times a year, should not be a surprise in results from the gradebook, unless desired by the District/LEA.

Link Correct Standards to Assignments
Next Steps

One big difference in a Standards Based Gradebook is that every assignment requires a single standard. That standard is how the value knows where calculate on the report card. Choosing the correct standard for desired results on the report card is critical.

Want to help teachers with standards? Learn more about Standard Collections!

Value Scales

A Value Scale is how the data from a Gradebook or an Assessment knows the value to populate onto the report card. The Admin or Builder can create a scale that is different or the same from how the gradebook collects data. Ideally any changes should be communicated with teachers.

Since Standards Based Gradebooks use the scale of a Rubric, values are recommended to match that of how the Gradebooks are set up.

When creating a Value Scale, you will need to create a scale in support of Standards Based Gradebooks.

Field Groups and Fields

Field Groups and Fields are how you populate the Teacher's Entry Screen. Typically, Field Groups are by Subject and Fields are for each of the areas data will populate in the Field Group.

The structure of your Field Groups and Fields depends on design and structure of the Elementary Report Card. This may vary across District/LEA.

The example shows two options on how you may think of setting up Field Groups and Fields.

Option Field Group Field Type Standard Setup Grade Levels
Option A:
Cluster or Domain Specific (multiple standards)
Mathematics Assessment or Gradebook Score All Standards in support of Domain for all grade levels
Multiple with the same Field Group and Fields. For example, Grades 3-5 may have the same Field Group of Mathematics and same domains or clusters, just different standards. All standards for grades 3-5 can be selected when creating this field. Then, the field group can be used for three report cards.
Option B:
Standard Specific (single standards)
Reading Literature Assessment or Gradebook Score Single Standard in support of field. By Grade Level since each report card is unique in design. For example, it specifically says RL 3.2. That means this field group and field, can only be used for Grade 3.

Visit Step 8 - Create Report Card Fields for more details on how to create a field.

Field Settings and Options

This step is where the data is coming from and how it should act on the entry screen.

The following settings and options are required:

  • Name (2) of the field
  • Select the Field Type (3) of Assessment or GradeBook Score
    • Options enabled will default based on selection
  • Select the Value Scale (4) created previously
  • Select the Category Weight Aggregation Algorithum (5) of Rubric (beta)

Once these settings have been selected, a new section called Category will appear at the bottom of your screen to confirm how data from a Gradebook will populate on the report card.

Create a Category

A Category in report cards is more like a criteria on how this field will populate data. In this case, the field settings are to pull from a Standards Based Gradebook using a Rubric Value Scale.

This is where the data from an Assessment or Gradebook knows how to be calculated onto the report card. It isn't just a "copy/paste" value, but the data gets recalculated with a new value as you set it, onto the report card.

Because you are using Standards Based Gradebooks, the only option available is the Category Type (6) of Standard. This means the data will be pulling from assignments linked to specific standards in this field.

Select the checkbox Allow Teachers to Link Gradebooks (7) which will enable a teacher's ability to link Gradebooks to the report card.

Required are to select and choose the Standards (8) that should calculate a value in this field. For example, if the field is for MD 1.1, then you need to select all the standards that are acceptable for that field.

Below explains a little more about Aggregate Calculations (9) but this is how the values from Gradebook and selected standards will calculate. Typically such calculations are chosen in similar support of how the Gradebook is setup.

By default, most users will not use Rounding options. Rounding is an optional feature only if decimals are being practiced in Standards Based Gradebooks. If decimals are being used, then a Rounding Preference and Round Calculation To needs to be selected. Best practice is to match such settings with Gradebook practices. If changes are made between a Gradebook and Report Card, it is always recommended to communicate such changes to teachers.

Aggregate Calculations

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Now you need to select an Aggregate Calculation. Gasp! What is this confounded thing?! This how the Report Card module is actually going to calculate the students’ grades based on the Gradebook values. There are a ton of options, and it will look scary at first, but it’s really not that bad.

Aggregate Calculations

Looking at this list, you see a variety of XXXStrandXXXStandard. Here is what this really means:

  • Strand You can combine Standard Scores into a “Strand” much like you can combine Standard Scores into a GB Overall Score (in the SBGB). Think of it like a new "overall grade".
  • Standard Just like in a SBGB you can specify ways the assignment scores contribute to the “Standard Score”

If it helps, at best, you can match how the Gradebook is setup to your Report Card needs. For example, if teachers' have settings such as Minimim Standard Score and Maximum Overall Grade (or strand), then in Report Card setup, look for MaxStrandMinStandard.

Learn more about Standards Based Gradebook calculations here.

How Does Strand and Standard Work Exactly?


Let's take a look...

Let’s say a student received a 3, 4, 4 on Standard 1.1 and you’ve chosen “minimum” for the “Standard Score.” This means that the student will receive a “3” for Standard 1.1.

Now, let’s say a student received a Standard Score of “5” on Standard 1.2 and (from our earlier example) a Standard Score of “3” for Standard 1.1.

Still with me?

If so, then let’s say you chose “maximum” for the “Strand.” This means the student will receive a “5” since that was the maximum value across all of the minimum values for the standards in the strand.

Configure Data Links (Entry)

During the entry process or training (as soon as the report card grading window opens for teachers), teachers need to setup Data Links. Data Links is the final step on establishing the connection of which gradebook goes where on the Report Card.

Standards Based fields (or fields links to standards) are considered Automatic Data Links. Because the Admin or Builder set the field up for specific standards, the gradebook assignments and standards "know where to go".

Once Data Links are conifigured, teachers are ready to enjoy the entry process, or Report Cards for Elementary Teachers.

Next Steps

Continue building Field Groups and Fields as appropriate in support of Standards Based Gradebooks. Refer to Step 8 - Create Report Card Fields.