Grade Book: Using Standards At The Secondary Level

Last modified on 04/03/2020

For secondary teachers. How to include standards on the report card.


Including standards performance information on the report card and in Parent/StudentVUE. Note: Posted and transcripted class grades will still be based on grade book assignment scores (test, project, etc), not standards scoresThis article will walk you through the process of using standards in your grade book.

Process Overview

  1. Make a department level decision about calculating standards. (jump to section)
  2. Set up your teacher grade book to include standards. (jump to section)
  3. Load your course aligned standards (jump to section)
  4. Attach standards to one or more assignments. (jump to section)
  5. Score the standards as well as the assignments. (jump to section)
  6. Optional: View your standards scores. (jump to section)


Department Level Decision

For consistency, choose a calculation method at department level that you will all use when calculating proficiency on standards. The grade book provides several different calculation methods for determining proficiency on a standard based on the scores entered. 

  • Highest Score - Based on the student’s highest score received for the standard.
  • Last Score - Based on the student’s last score received for the standard.
  • Power Law* - Marzano’s Power Law is a statistical formula that predicts what the student’s next score will be based on their previous scores.
  • Mean - Calculates the average of the scores. The sum of all the scores is divided by the number of scored items.
  • Median - Calculates scores by sorting all scores in ascending order and determining the grade in the middle.
  • Mode - Uses the most commonly occurring value as the score.
  • No Aggregation - Will not calculate any overall score.

    *Power Law requires at least 3 scores to provide meaningful results. More recent scores have a greater impact on the calculation, so properly dating your assignments is important. Power Law will not work with scores of zero.  Note: Power Law is a challenging formula to explain to parents and students.


Teacher Grade Book Setup

The next step is to set up your teacher grade book to include standards. You will also set the calculation method that your department chose in the section above.

1. Turn on standards. Go the Grade Book menu and select the Grade Book Setup menu option.

grade book menu with the grade book setup menu item selected

2. Click on the "Standards" tab. In the "Standards Proficiency" area, use the pulldown menu to select the calculation method you decided on as a department: power law, highest score, last score etc. This setting will apply to all of your sections. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Changing the calculation method on the "standards" tab will not change standards already associated with a course. If you make a change on the grade book setup screen, you will need to make the same change on the "Set Up Class Standards" screen (under the Grade Book menu) using the edit icon edit icon

grade book setup, standards tab

3. In the button bar, click on the "Class settings" button. A new screen will load.

portion of the grade book setup screen with my class settings button highlighted

4. In the list of classes, locate the classes where you want to use standards and click the edit icon to edit the class settings. Use the "edit all classes" button to edit classes in bulk. When in edit mode, change the "Standards Mode" setting from "off" to "on" by clicking on it. Repeat this for all of the classes where you want to use standards. This must be done at the start of each school year or mid-year if a new class is added.

Note: The "Overall Grade From" setting should stay on "Assignments"

my class settings screen with pencil icon higlighted

5. Click the green "Save" button at the top of the screen. You will not get a message confirming that you saved, but you can scroll down the page and look at your classes to verify that:

  • "Standards Mode" says On 
  • "Overall Grade From" says Assignments.

class settings page, standards on

Do NOT turn standards mode off or standards will not print on the report card.


Loading Course Aligned Standards

You will need to repeat this one time process for each of your sections.

1. Select your section from the main grade book screen, even if you are already in the correct section. 

class selection menu on the main grade book screen

2. From the Grade Book menu, select the "Set Up Class Standards" menu item.

grade book menu with the "set up class standards" menu item selected

3. On the screen that loads, you will see any existing standards that you have brought into the class already. In the class below, no standards have been brought in. Click on the "Load Standards from Course Alignment" link to load the standards associated with your current course. Only course aligned standards will print on the report card.

Before loading standards


grade book set up class standards screen with standards now loaded
After loading standards

4. Verify that the method of calculating the overall standard score (from individual scores) is set the way you want. On this screen, the calculation method is called "Agg Method." Click the Edit icon to make any needed changes. Click the "Options" button if you want to view codes for the standards.

5. Return to your main grade book screen, switch classes and start at step 2 above. Remember, it is best to avoid using the Home --> Change Class menu item.

6. Now, when you create a new assignment or edit an existing one, all of your course aligned standards will be available for selection without having to search for them first.

standards area of new/edit assignment screen
New assignment/edit assignment screen showing course aligned standards



  • No Standards Load - If nothing happens when you click the "Load standards..." link in step 3 above, return to your main grade book screen and verify you are in the correct section. Some sections like TA or Rendezvous will not have aligned standards.
  • Wrong Standards Load - If standards load for your course, but not the standards you expected, please check the C&I Reporting Standards" page to verify which standards should be loadingIf the standards that loaded are different from the ones listed on the C&I web site, please submit a tech request with the specific course that is having issues.


Adding Standards to Assignments

1. Create an assignment like you always do, or edit an existing assignment that you want to add standards to. Be aware of the three conditions below that must be met for an overall standard score to calculate.

  • If you use assignment type weighting, be sure to avoid assignment types with a zero weight
  • Assignment points cannot be zero
  • Assignment Category cannot be set to "not for grading"

2. Scroll to the lower half of the page. On the "Standards Correlations" tab you will see the course aligned standards you loaded. Click the standard you want to use. You will see "selected" next to that standard. To de-select a standard, click a second time. The word "selected" will disappear.

new assignment screen with standards correlation tab and a standard selected.

3. Save your assignment

Scoring your Assignment and Standard(s)

Now that you have your standard attached to one or more assignments, the final step is to score those standards along with the assignment(s)

1. Go to the Grade Book menu and select "Grade Book Main." You will see your assignments listed as before, but will have some new options related to standards.

2. Click on the name of the assignment that you want to score and select "Enter Scores" from the menu that appears. You will be taken to a score entry screen.

grade book assignment menu with "enter scores" selected

3. On the score entry screen you will notice a right pointing arrow (highlighted with a red box in the left picture below). Click this arrow to show the standards attached to the assignment.

score entry screen with show standards arrow highlighted        score entry screen with standards showing
Before clicking on the arrow.    After clicking on the arrow. Standards are now showing.


4. With your standards now showing, you can score both the assignment and the standards. Remember, since we set the grade book up not to generate the class grade from standards, the scores you give to the standards will not impact the overall class grade.


5. When you are done scoring, click the "Save/Return to Grade Book" button.

save and return to grade book button


OPTIONAL: Viewing your Overall Standards Scores

Back on your main grade book screen you will notice there is a new pair of buttons for switching between standards mode and assignment mode. To view standards information, click on the "Standards" button.

Main grade book screen with the standards button selected

When the screen reloads, you willl see additional options when you mouse over the "Standards" button. Make sure the boxes next to "Show Summary Score" and "Show Standards Evidence Chart" are checked.


1. Now, instead of viewing assignments, you are looking at the overall calculated score for your two standards.

  • Note: Do not enter standards scores on this screen as doing so will manually override the calculated scores. If you accidentally override a calculated standard score, simply delete the score and save.
  • Clicking on the right facing arrows (highlighted in red in the left picture below) will display the standards scores for the individual assignments.
main grade book screen in standards mode   Standards view with manually overwritten scores
Scores for all standards are being calculated by the grade book.    The two scores highlighted in green have been manually overwritten by the teacher. Delete these scores and save to restore the calculated score.


2. After clicking on the arrow the standards scores for individual assignments are now showing. In this example, I had set the grade book up to calculate the overall standard using "Last Score" so the standard scores from the Persuasive Writing assignment are being used for the overall standard score. If you compare the overall standard scores to the class grade, you will notice they are independent of each other since the overall class grade is coming from assignment scores. You can edit the individual assignment standards scores by clicking in the cells under the assignment name. Since you are in standards mode, you are scoring the standards attached to the assignment, not the assignment itself.

main grade book screen in standards mode with individual assignments showing.

3. If your overall standard is not calculating as you expected, go back to the "Set Up Class Standards" screen under the Grade Book menu, and verify you are using the calculation ("Agg") method you selected as a department.


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