Grading Practices at Athlos

At Athlos Academy, we understand that it is impossible to report all aspects of a student’s growth and achievement with just one document. Therefore, we use multiple avenues to track and share student progress.

Student Portfolios

Visual evidence of growth and development in the three Pillars of Performance used during student-led conferences

Student-Led Conferences

Conferences held twice a year; in the fall and in the spring

Standards-Based Grading

Quarterly report cards that measure proficiency on state standards in each subject area

Communication with Families

Regular and ongoing communication with Athlos families

Student Portfolios

Student portfolios are a way for students to take ownership over their learning through the process of reviewing learning targets, choosing artifacts, reflecting on work, and setting goals. Ultimately, each student develops a creative portfolio to use as a guide for discussion during a student-led conference.  They are shared with families as evidence of student growth.

Portfolios contain projects and evidence from all three Athlos pillars: Prepared Mind, Healthy Body, and Performance Character.

Student-Led Conferences

At Athlos Academy, student-led conferences take the place of traditional parent-teacher conferences. Through the process of planning for and facilitating their own conference, students:

  • Are empowered to honestly reflect on their learning
  • Take ownership of their successes and challenges
  • Set specific goals for the future

Role of the Student:

Students facilitate the conference and honestly reflect on strengths, areas of challenge, highlights, needs, and goals for the future. After the conference, they reflect on what went well and areas for improvement to set goals for future student-led conferences.

Role of Families:

Family members at the conference actively listen to the student, ask questions, and offer encouragement and feedback. Families also support student’s goals at home by engaging in ongoing discussions about progress, the Athlos pillars, challenges, goals, etc.

Standards-Based Report Cards

Report cards are provided to families approximately two weeks after the end of each quarter. When you receive your child’s report card, you will notice that it is set up differently than a traditional report card. This is because Athlos Academy uses a standards-based grading approach to tracking student progress.

Standards-based grading measures a student’s mastery of grade-level standards by prioritizing the most recent, consistent level of performance (see the four-point grading scale). Thus, a student who struggled at the beginning of a course when first encountering new material may still earn a grade reflecting proficiency at the end of a grading period. This is different from a traditional grading system in which a student’s performance for an entire quarter is averaged together. A standards-based report card provides more meaningful feedback (with a focus on growth) so families can track progress and students can set goals for improvement.

Another characteristic of standards-based grading is the separation of academic performance from work habits and behavior in order to provide parents a more accurate view of a student’s progress. Variables such as effort, participation, time on task, cooperation, and attitude are reported separately as characteristics of successful learners.

PDF: Standards-Based Grading – A Baking Analogy

Communication with Families

Every Athlos student brings home a Friday folder that contains work and communication from the teachers. Take some time to discuss these materials with your child and ask him/her about what’s being learned in school.

Teacher email addresses are available on teacher pages. Find a teacher. Feel free to connect with your child’s teacher if you have questions or concerns. You can also reach out to your student’s teacher to schedule a meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the report cards look like?

View a sample report card (PDF)

Please explain the four-point grading scale in detail.


4: Exceeds grade-level standards

A four describes work that demonstrates exemplary performance in relation to grade-level standards. Student work is characterized by in-depth content knowledge and skill levels that consistently exceed grade level expectations.

Other descriptors: wow • exemplary • exceptional • high-quality • in-depth • superb • outstanding • innovative • creative • above and beyond • complex • very well-prepared for next level


3: Meets grade-level standards

A three describes work that demonstrates essential skills and knowledge related to grade-level standards. Student work is characterized by a proficient understanding of subject-area content and grade-level knowledge and skills.

Other descriptors: competent • skilled • adept • appropriate • solid • capable • independent • quality • well-prepared for next level


2: Progressing toward grade-level standards

A two describes work demonstrating limited performance in relation to grade-level standards. Student work is characterized by a generally accurate understanding of subject-area content, but consistent, independent demonstration of grade-level knowledge and skills has not yet been achieved.

Other descriptors: needs more time • limited • within reason • minimal • generally accurate • developing • basic • needs more direct support to be successful at the next level


1: Does not yet meet grade-level standards

A one describes work that indicates unsuccessful performance related to grade-level standards. Student work shows that he/she is not yet able to demonstrate content-area knowledge and skills. A one can also be used to indicate that no evidence is yet available to assess a student’s progress toward grade-level standards.

Other descriptors: not yet • insufficient • well below • inadequate • misconceptions • omissions • errors • has not genuinely attempted to meet standards • beginning • is not yet prepared for the next level • no evidence


PDF: Four-Point Grading Scale

What should I do with my student's report card?

  • Resist the urge to compute proficiency levels with letter grades.
  • Talk with your child about the report card. Ask him or her to reflect on areas of strength and areas of challenge. Celebrate successes and help your child set goals related to areas of challenge.
  • Spend time looking at the “Characteristics of a Successful Learner” and “Attendance” sections. Does anything stand out? Discuss with your child any goals or strategies for improvement in those areas.
  • If you have questions relating to grades or concerns regarding your child’s performance, get in touch with your student’s teacher.