Grading Systems at Akins: Regular/AP/Pre-AP/ACC Dual Credit/ UT OnRamps
Standards Based Grading-
Akins High School follows a campus policy called Standards Based Grading for all classes except UT Onramps, ACC Dual Credit, and College Board Advanced Placement courses. This is a researched concept that allows students to learn at their own pace and demonstrate knowledge of the content they are learning at multiple points. You will not be grade on a 0 -100% scale as you have been in the past. Instead you will have to switch your thinking to more of a growth mindset. Think of a target.
When you throw an arrow at a target, you can hit it in different spots. Your ultimate goal is the bullseye, however the first time you throw the dart maybe you land on the outside of the target (NE). The next time you throw the dart maybe you land closer to the center (APR). Finally, on your third throw you hit the bullseye (MST). That is how your assignments will be graded.
MSG (MISSING) - This means the student was not present when the assignment was given and the assignment has not been handed in as a result. It translates to a 0% in the gradebook.
NE (NO EVIDENCE) - This means the student was present when the assignment was given but the student either refused to complete the assignment or simply did not turn it in, so the student’s knowledge of that concept cannot be assessed. It translates to a 0% in the gradebook.
INS (INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE) - This means there is insufficient evidence to assess the student on a concept. This is the grade that will be given for a COMPLETED assignment that is turned in completely incorrect and shows little to no evidence of understanding of the concept, in other words, “I don’t get it.”. This translates to a 50% in the gradebook.
EMG (EMERGING) - This means the student has demonstrated an emerging level of understanding of a concept. The student's work shows understanding is at a very basic introductory level. This translates to a 60% in the gradebook.
APR(APPROACHING) - This means the student is approaching understanding of the concept and is demonstrating a little more than a basic understanding of the concept he/she is learning about. In other words, “I kind of get it, a little bit.” This translates to a 70% in the gradebook.
SAT(SATISFACTORY) - This means the student demonstrates a satisfactory level of understanding of a concept. The student understands the concept pretty well, but is still missing some key points. In other words, “I get it mostly, I just need more practice.”This translates to an 80% in the gradebook.
PRF (PROFICIENT) - This means the student is at a proficient level of understanding of the concept. The student understands the concept in its entirety and can almost always get the correct answer when asked a question about the concept. In other words, “I usually get it, but sometimes I might make a little error.” This translates to a 90% in the gradebook.
MST(MASTERY) - This means the student has mastered the concept. The student understands every aspect of it, and always gets the information right. The student is also able to explain the concept to somebody else. In other words, “Ask me anything, I will get it right.” This translates to a 100% in the gradebook.
Students will have multiple opportunities to show mastery of a concept. For example the first time a student is assessed on a assignment and achieves EMG, you will see an EMG in the gradebook and that averages as a 60%. A few days later after completing the homework and classwork for that concept the student should retake the assignment to show growth meaning student is assessed at proficient or higher. If the student is assessed higher than EMG, the grade will then change in the gradebook.
This means if a student doesn't understand the assignment the first time, they may try again later and always have the opportunity to show mastery.
All classes follow Standards Based Grading except: ACC Dual Credit classes, UT OnRamps Classes, and College Board Advanced Placement classes. These classes follow a more traditional grading system such as:
1-100 based on UT professors grading system
Students receive two grades; one from the high school teacher of the course (weighted) and one from the professor at UT who is also grading their work. The high school grade is recorded on the high school transcript. The student has the opportunity to accept or decline the UT college grade. If they accept it, it becomes part of their college transcript. If they decline it, it is as if they were never enrolled at UT, but they still get the weighted high school grade on the high school transcript.
ACC Dual Credit Course:
Students receive a letter grade from ACC that corresponds to a weighted number grade (+ 10 points) on their high school transcript. How the letter corresponds to the grade is found here: https://www.austinisd.org/ssig/grades-classifications. The grade earned at ACC becomes part of the student's college transcript.
Early College High School classes at Akins and ACC
Courses taken on the Akins campus (non dual-credit courses) are graded and weighted (+ 10 points) like courses non-ECHS student take. Dual Credit courses that the ECHS students take (whether on the campus or at ACC) are graded as ACC Dual Credit courses. (Same as above)
College Board AP classes:
Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous than regular education classes. College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies – with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement, or both – while still in high school. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admissions officers that students have sought the most challenging curriculum available to them. Each Akins AP teacher attends a College Board training and each Akins AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved through a Course Audit by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities. The AP Course Audit was created to provide teachers and administrators with clear guidelines on curricular and resource requirements for AP courses and to help colleges and universities validate courses marked “AP” on students’ transcripts.
The Akins AP teacher grades work based on a 1-100 scale utilizing a rubric which is presented to students. For assignments that simulate tasks from the AP exam, teachers use the exam scoring rubrics created by College Board. AP courses are weighted when calculating GPA. Each course culminates in a challenging exam in May. In order for students to earn college credit or placement, students must register for the AP Exam and score a 3 or higher on that exam. AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP Teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement, or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. Not all universities take a score of 3 or 4, some require a 5. To confirm a specific college’s AP credit/placement policy, a search engine is available at apstudent.org/creditpolicies.
From “About AP” in the Course and Exam Description, 2019.
Pre-Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous than regular education classes. These classes enable willing and academically prepared students to pursue Advanced Placement (AP) courses. These classes utilize Standards Based grading and are weighted classes. (+10 points)
Grading Scale for all Akins courses based on Tier level:
Even though we are a Standards Based Grading campus our students still fall under this integrated grading scale.
The following scale is used to compute numerical grades into the mathematically computed score that is used to determine honor roll status, grade point average, and rank in class. The end of semester grade is recorded on the student’s transcript, the student’s permanent record.