Elementary Grading & Assessment

Standards-Based Instruction (SBI) is a teaching method that is based on standards of skill mastery.

Rooted in research and supported by evidence and observable experience, SBI is a student-centered form of pedagogy (how we teach children) and curricular design.

A “standard” (sometimes called a “learning standard” or a “content standard”) is a set of conditions that a child should achieve that means a child has gained a given set of knowledge or a given skill. It is a concrete description of what a student should understand and be able to do. Standards are written in a way so that all children should be able to meet them, and that any child can theoretically exceed them. The framework of standards gives a concrete set of expectations to schools on what to teach and informs educators on how to teach allowing schools to better meet the needs of every child. At the VLP, we are committed to using proven, research-based methods in how the standards are taught.

The Virginia Department of Education sets standards for all schools in the Commonwealth, and Arlington Public Schools establishes a framework of expectations for instructing those skills. The links on the left will take you to the standards we use, as determined by Arlington Public Schools.

Standards-Based Assessment (SBA) is a method of evaluating student skill mastery. SBA is intended to help students, families, and teachers understand accurately how students are doing as they work on developing their skills.

Traditional Systems Standards-based Instruction
Focuses on Grades Focuses on Learning
Fixed Mindset of Learning Growth Mindset of Learning
Draws Comparisons Between Students Focuses on the Progress of the Individual Student
Single Measure Used to Determine Progress Multiple Measures Used to Determine Progress

For more information on SBA in APS, visit the Standards-Based pages of APSVA.us.

At the conclusion of each Marking Period (four times per year), consistent with Arlington Public Schools policy, families of students in Grades 1 through 5 receive a printed Progress Report. Students in Kindergarten receive these reports at the conclusion of each Semester (twice per year). We report on the Standards established for instruction in public schools in Virginia, by the Virginia Department of Education, and as organized by the Arlington Public Schools Scope & Sequence documents that guide our curricula.

These Progress Reports provide families with their student’s current state of Skill Mastery within each Standard. (See “Standards-Based Instruction” and “Standards-Based Assessment” for more information.) These Progress Reports are “snapshots in time,” showing the current situation at the time of the report.

To assist you in reading the Progress Report, we’ve created some graphics will be provided.