Course Syllabus

Modern World History Syllabus

Evidence Based Grading Information: 

Please take a moment to review our message to students (see above). While there is overlap between the message to them and the one to you, there is also distinct language in the one for students that may help contextualize what is offered to you here.. 

 

Schools historically and typically provide students with numbers, percentages, and letter grades on each individual assignment within a course, resulting in an averaged score when reporting a singular grade. A standards-based system moves away from such averages and towards the determination of when/where/how often a student’s work meets standards, to provide feedback and information about work in relation to these standards. Focusing on the student work in this manner reflects the values of wanting all students to succeed, fostering a growth mindset, and prioritizing the development of transferable skills. 

 

Canvas is the learning management system that supports a teacher’s ability to provide feedback and scores to students. PowerSchool is the platform that communicates aggregate performance to students and families. PowerSchool also calculates the term grades and overall year grades, based on the pre-set weights of the different standards.  This distinction, in terms of purpose and access, is important; it’s baked into what might be helpful to restate and/or know:

  • we distinguish between feedback and grading/scores
  • rubrics and scores are found in Canvas
  • letter grades for each standard are updated ~1x per month in PowerSchool, and are based on an aggregate of scored rubrics associated with that standard
  • your student’s teacher will communicate the specific weights of each standard in their course materials, and these weights are consistent by course team
  • PowerSchool calculates a quarter grade, represented by a letter and number,  based on the prescribed weights assigned to each standard 
  • all history surveys at WHS will use a shared grading system

 

If reading some scholarship that informs our practice helps, we’d encourage your reading of this overview from ASCD, or perhaps a review of a collection of pieces/excerpts that our department leader, Mike Reidy, shared with us. If questions remain, or you wish to discuss ‘why’ we adopted this practice, please contact him at reidym@wellesleyps.org.  

 

If you have questions about your student and their performance in class, please contact the teacher directly. They are here to help. Before speaking, I might suggest talking with your student about feedback received, and working with your student through their Canvas portal periodically. We find that most uncertainties are best addressed in these open conversations at home.


Course Summary:

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