Assessment Grading in Blackbaud Student Information SystemTM enables schools to assess students on specific developmental skills. Typically used at the lower school level for elementary students, skill-focused grading is set up similar to standard grading (you can read a full description of grading setup in our Grading Guide).
There are two primary differences between setting up standard and assessment grading: assessment skills and assessment grading periods.
The first step is to create assessment skills in the software:
Assessment skills are qualitative statements used to assess student performance in the classroom. An assessment skill can be as simple as "Reading ability" or something complex such as "Demonstrates knowledge of literary book themes." Once your assessment skills are created, add them to the report card as you would add grade plan grades. Learn more about assessment skills here.
Assessment Grading Periods
Assessment grading periods act as a link between the assessment skills and the report card. Each grade plan with assessment skills needs to be associated with an assessment grading period. You then select the assessment grading period when adding grades to your report card.
One thing to keep in mind when setting up assessment grading periods and grade plans is that there currently isn't a way to select specific grades attached to an assessment grading period to appear on a report card. For example, if you have Quarter 1 grades and comments but would like these to appear separately on a report card, you’d want to create unique assessment grading periods and grade plans for each. Learn more about assessment grading periods here.
Grading is completely unique for each school, and you should work with your administration and teachers to determine what works best for your school. Our support team is always happy to answer any specific questions about grading setup, and if you want help from a Blackbaud consultant, you can always arrange this with your account executive.
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