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Evaluations

The Graham School does not give traditional A-B-C-D-F grades, nor do we utilize traditional report cards. Instead, The Graham School uses narratives, gateways, and other methods designed to evaluate whether a student has mastered the core concepts of our curriculum

At The Graham School, students are not compared against each other. Instead, over time, a student’s work is measured against his/her previous work in order to evaluate individual progress within essential skill areas and across disciplines.

The Graham School issues interim, semester and end-of-the-year evaluations that are founded on students meeting expectations within a class or partner placement.  These evaluations are reported in two parts; a student’s progress based on a scale of expectations, and a thorough narrative describing what and how the student is performing in each course.

Our evaluative structure measures expectations based on the following scale:

Evaluations that Earn Credit

EE (Exceeds Expectations): The Student produces/demonstrates outstanding work, participation, and mastery of subject matter, going above and beyond what is required.  This evaluation indicates that a student has exceeded the expectations that were established for this student by the classroom teacher or placement site mentor. A student who achieves an EE earns credit for the course.

ME (Meets Expectations): The Student produces/demonstrates consistent work and participation, meeting all class requirements, demonstrating full understanding of subject matter.  This evaluation indicates that a student has met the expectations that were established for this student by the classroom teacher or placement site mentor. A student who achieves an ME earns credit for the course.

Evaluations that DO NOT Earn Credit

AE (Approaches Expectations): The Student produces/demonstrates inconsistent work and participation.  Student is failing to demonstrate adequate understanding of the material in all areas.  This evaluation indicates that a student has made strides toward meeting the expectations that were established for this student by the classroom teacher or placement site mentor. The student is on the way toward meeting expectations but is not there yet. Students earning an AE as a final evaluative mark for a semester class, a year-long class or Partner Site placement will NOT earn academic credit for the class or the Partner Site placement.

JB (Just Beginning): The Student is so inconsistent with producing/demonstrating work or participation that adequate understanding is not established.  Students earning a JB as a final evaluative mark for a semester class, a year-long class or Partner Site placement will NOT earn academic credit for the class or the Partner Site placement.

Final Comments on Evaluations at Graham

Our evaluations are not grades in the traditional sense, because they do much more than sort and rank students. Instead, our evaluation system describes what work looks like when it approaches, meets, or exceeds our expectations. Moreover, our evaluations are presented in narrative form so that the student, the parent/guardian and other interested parties will have a greater understanding of the totality of the student’s performance in a variety of identified essential skills, academic objectives, and experiential abilities.  These evaluations are transferable to other high schools and to colleges and universities.

In addition to these descriptions, below is what we use to help guide our experiential education evaluations:

EE: Exceeds Expectations:

  • Completes all reflections, papers, and projects beyond established expectations
  • Demonstrates tremendous growth and learning; has great willingness to learn
  • Takes risks in experiential work, by trying out new ideas and taking advantage of opportunities
  • Receives high marks from mentor on assessment forms
  • Works through problems positively and responsibly
  • Demonstrates many habits of self-directed learning at site

ME: Meets Expectations:

  • Completes most reflections and all papers and projects satisfactorily
  • Demonstrates growth and learning at site
  • Performs consistently
  • Receives average to above average marks from mentor on assessment forms
  • Attempts to work through problems
  • Demonstrates some habits of self-directed learning at site

Evaluations that DO NOT Earn Credit

AE: Approaches Expectations:

  • Completes some reflections and a paper or project
  • Demonstrates little growth over the year at site
  • Has a few unexcused absences and and/or frequent tardiness
  • Receives low marks from mentor on assessment forms
  • Hesitant to work through problems
  • Demonstrates few habits of self-directed learning at site

JB: Just Beginning:

  • Does not complete multiple reflections, papers, and projects
  • Demonstrates no growth at site
  • Performs inconsistently with many absences and/or frequent tardiness
  • Receives low marks from mentor on assessment forms
  • Avoids working through problems or approaches problems defensively
  • Demonstrates few habits of self-directed learning at site

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