For schools that track data on student mastery of standards over time and across different classrooms, it's very important to develop and norm grading practice and policies. This is especially important if parents, students, and the community are new to proficiency- or mastery-based reports because un-normed practice can lead to confusion and angst.
For these reasons, we recommend developing a grading policy before your school or district moves beyond the pilot stage of implementing JumpRope. You can, however, use a small pilot of the software as an opportunity to learn about the needs of teachers and the community and to experiment with different practices that may ultimately help develop the policies.
Along with having a grading policy product, the process of developing these norms and policies can have substantial benefits as well. The discussion, development and revision of these policies can provide stakeholders with the opportunity to examine their practice and philosophy and open up important conversations around standard- and mastery-based teaching and learning.
A grading policy itself can take many forms, and there is no one right way to do it. For example: depending on the culture and history at your school or district, it may make sense to be very explicit or to leave room for professional judgement on the part of individual teachers or teams of teachers. In other words, it's very hard for us to outline specific steps or formats that are general enough to work for everybody. JumpRope does have a team of implementation specialists and consultants on hand if you're interested in bringing another mind and some extra experience to the table as you undertake this task.
In the meantime, we've asked a handful of our partner schools and districts to share their own grading policies for others to use as models. Keep in mind that some of these are still in draft form, and not all of them line up perfectly with other best practices and recommendations that you might see on our blog, webinars, or help documentation. There's more than one way to do this right!
Don't hesitate to reach out to our support team if you have questions or would like additional help developing your grading policy.