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Standards-Based Report Cards

To more accurately assess student progress, Vandalia-Butler City Schools uses standards-based report cards in grades K-3.

A standards-based report card:

  • Reports student progress in specific content areas.

  • Identifies what concepts students understand and where they require more assistance.

  • Reports elements such as use of class time, homework completion, and cooperation separately from academic achievement.

Our grades K-3 reporting system is not a traditional grade card because learning is too complex to be reduced to a simple letter grade. Traditional report cards use a letter grade to sum up a student’s knowledge about an entire subject.

Standards-based reporting breaks each subject area down into specific indicators that serve as checkpoints for measuring student knowledge. These indicators are aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards, as defined by the Ohio Department of Education. This means students are measured quarterly against the state’s content standards for each subject area in each grade level. Every student in that grade level across the entire district is receiving instruction and being assessed on the same concepts and skills.

Rather than assign a letter grade, numbers 1-4 are used to show a student’s mastery of each indicator. It is a superior tool for communicating to parents what their children know and where they require more assistance.

Parent Resources

Standards-based grading terms

Applying academic standards across the curriculum

Relating academic standards to all students 

FAQs about standards-based grading 

A parents’ guide to standards-based grading

K-3 report card grading key 



Standards-Based Report Cards Research
Standards-based grading presentation from the U.S. Department of Education

Principal's Research Review - January 2009

Seven reasons for standards-based grading

“Helping Standards Make the Grade” by Thomas R. Guskey