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From the Superintendent

Superintendent Report
November 8, 2017

As we complete the first quarter and distribute the first round of report cards for the school year, I’d like to revisit a major change that was made four years ago.  At that time the state mandated moving from traditional grading to standards based grading.  Simply put, a standards based grading system determines if a student is proficient in meeting the learning goals and performance standards.   Let’s think about the huge shift that all of our students, teachers, and parents are still working to wrap their heads around.  



Traditional Grading System

Standards-Based Grading System

  1. Based on assessment methods (quizzes, tests, homework, projects, etc.). One grade/entry is given per assessment.
  1. Based on learning goals and performance standards. One grade/entry is given per learning goal.
  1. Assessments are based on a percentage system. Criteria for success may be unclear.
  1. Standards are criterion or proficiency-based. Criteria and targets are made available to students ahead of time.
  1. Use an uncertain mix of assessment, achievement, effort, and behavior to determine the final grade. May use late penalties and extra credit.
  1. Measures achievement only OR separates achievement from effort/behavior. No penalties or extra credit given.
  1. Everything goes in the grade book – regardless of purpose.
  1. Selected assessments (tests, quizzes, projects, etc.) are used for grading purposes.
  1. Include every score, regardless of when it was collected. Assessments record the average – not the best – work.
  1. Emphasize the most recent evidence of learning when grading.

Adapted from O’Connor K (2002).  How to Grade for Learning: Linking grades to standards (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press

A standards-based grading system is a better way to assure all students are performing at their highest levels possible and learning exactly what we have set out to teach them based on the learning goals and performance standards.


In reflecting on the Superintendent’s work for October 2017, as well as tying this work to the four major characteristics of improved school districts –   1. effective leadership   2. quality teaching and learning   3. support for system-wide improvement   4. clear and collaborative relationships highlights were:


  • Administrative focus walks at SCS.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Upper Rogue Chamber meeting at CLCA.  (1 ,4)
  • Applitrack training.  (1,2,3,4)
  • D9 Foundation meeting.  (1,4)
  • EPSD9 data dashboard training.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Superintendents/Business Manager meeting at SOESD.  (1,4)
  • ALICE training for new staff.  (1,2,3,4)
  • SOESD Superintendent Association meeting.  (1,4)
  • Eric Jensen Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.  (1,2,3,4)
  • OSBA Fall Regional Meeting/Dinner at Inn of the Commons.  (1,3,4)
  • Preparation for presentations at 2017 OSBA Convention.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Meeting with EPEA Representative, Gail Kauffman.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Eagle Point Women’s Club Luncheon.  (1,4)
  • LCLC check presentation to support Red Cross relief efforts.  (1,4)
  • Monthly check-in meetings with Directors.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Arbitration preparation with Nancy Hungerford.  (1,3,4)
  • City/School district quarterly leadership team meeting.  (1,4)
  • Leadership/team building development.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Meetings with community members and business leaders.  (1,4)
  • Meetings with past and present school board members.  (1,2,3,4)
  • Site visitations every Thursday to support teaching and learning.  (1,2,3,4)


Besides being the first grading period for schools, November is also a very special month for all of us to pause and give thanks.  I am deeply thankful for the privilege of serving EPSD9 as the superintendent and to work with the wonderful team of people who are committed to do great work for every student, in every class, every day!  Thanks to everyone who works together to accomplish this very important mission.




Cynda S. Rickert
Jackson County School District 9 - Eagle Point

541-830-6200 (fax)


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