Grading for Learning
Grading at STEM School Chattanooga follows a standards-based
grading approach. What that means is that grades for a
student are tied directly to a specific standard required for
learning by the state of Tennessee. For our school, we use
the terminology learning targets for each of these specific
standards. Learning targets are standards written in student
friendly language that signify what a student should learn.
Student grades come from performance assessments where students
show their level of mastery. We call these performance
assessments our summative assessments and they include
tests/quizzes, projects, and products. Student mastery levels
are broken down as follows, and each number grade reflects a
different level of mastery.
- No Mastery (0): Assessment is missing or incomplete. Score of
- Below Basic (BB): Student level of understanding is not
acceptable. Score of 50.
- Basic (BA): Student level of understanding shows basic
knowledge of the material. Score of 70.
- Proficient (PR): Student level of understanding shows both
knowledge and comprehension of the material, and student is
prepared for ongoing studies in STEM. Score of 85.
- Advanced (AD): Student level of understanding shows not only
does the student comprehend the material, but the student is able
to apply the content in a real world setting and create new ideas
using the content. Score of 100.
Student grades are posted online only. We do not send home
paper copies. All parents and students can access their
grades online through Powerschool. If you are a student
and/or parent and do not have (or have lost) your login
information, please contact the school and we can assist you in
In each individual course, the overall student grade for a course
is made up of individual student grades throughout the year.
There are two main categories in the gradebook for use in
- Learning Targets (LT) - all learning target grades will go in
this category with a grade of 0, BB, BA, PR, or AD
- Note: Students earn BA grades on learning targets in Inertia
Institute only (online work in Edgenuity)
- PBL - all PBL (project based learning) team grades will go in
this category with a grade of 0, BB, PR, or AD
Again, all students have an overall grade for each course.
This overall grade will determine student GPA (grade point
average) at the end of
the school year. Students' grades run the entire year.
No GPAs are calculated during the middle of the school
Students have multiple courses listed in Powerschool with grades.
In order to earn credit in each of these courses, ALL
individual learning target grades MUST be at a level of basic,
proficient or advanced. Students have until the first of May
to make sure this is the case for 9th and 10th grade. A
student may have an overall average higher than a 70, but until all
individual learning target grades are at least basic, proficient or
advanced, the student will not earn credit for the course.
In other words, it is not acceptable for any learning target
grade to stay at Below Basic or non-mastery.
ALL grades can be improved throughout the year. If a student
earns a grade of Basic on a particular learning target, that
student can improve that grade if they are able to demonstrate a
higher level of mastery at a later date. In order to do so,
the student is responsible to seek out the teacher and devise a
plan to improve. Every day, students will have time each day during
an extended lunch time to access any teacher in the school.
Information on Assignments and Grading
In order to help with understanding our expectations for work at
the STEM School, below are some bullets that we believe may help
you as you observe your child's performance.
Google Classroom and Grading
Students have daily work they do throughout our units. This work
can be found in Google Classroom and is posted in the Google
Classroom calendar. Please see the website information link titled
"Grading, Google Classroom and Powerschool" for detailed
All PBL project work have rubrics that students are given at the
beginning of a unit. The rubrics include the necessary requirements
for students to earn proficient and advanced levels. Basic is not
an acceptable option for PBL work. Students at the STEM School are
capable of and have shown they can produce proficient and advanced
project work. Our expectations are that each student is working to
produce high-level work.
Inertia Institute occurs each month starting in September and is
required for 9th and 10th grade students with any scores of No
Mastery or Below Basic (scores that would prevent them from earning
course credit). Students use the online program Edgenuity for the
information, videos, and practice they need to raise all individual
grades to a Basic level of mastery.
Each month starting in September 9th and 10th grade students who
have all of their learning target grades at a basic, proficient, or
advanced level can participate in Dividend Days-in place of Inertia
Institute. It is an incentives program where students engage in
enrichment opportunities and activities they want to do for the
Dates for Inertia Institute and Dividend Days
* 1st Semester: Sept 19, Oct 24, Nov 21, Dec 15
* 2nd Semester: Jan 30, Feb 27, April 10, May 15-May 25
Students in grades 9 and 10 have all year to remediate (or fix)
any Learning Target grade. We will cut off the remediation
opportunity at the beginning of May. Up until then, students can
work to move any grade to a higher grade. So, if a student has a
score of basic (70) on a learning target from January, the student
can still work to improve on that grade and can earn an advanced
(100) prior to the end of the year. Once we hit the beginning of
May, the highest grade a student can earn is basic (70) on a graded