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Competency Based Learning/ Standards Based Grading

During the last five years Murray City School District has been using standards-based grading in Kindergarten and in some First Grades which focuses on students’ ability to demonstrate their learning and accurately reflects areas of academic strength and weakness. Murray City School District is fortunate to be one of 7 districts awarded the Competency Based Education grant through the Utah State Board of Education.  Grading and reporting learning by standard allows students, teachers, and parents to focus on the learning of specific curricular and essential skills rather than the chasing of points, or simply completing missing work to raise an average grade. During this year of study, research and changing of grading practices teachers have been deeply engaged in, they have also been learning a new Gradebook platform that best represents standards based grading. Thus, when you have traditionally logged into Aspire, you have not seen grades being reported as in the past. 


Rest assured your students are learning at high levels, teachers are providing feedback to students and they have “grades” although they look a bit differently. At each of your schools, the District has pushed out more information about to learn more about standards based grading and competency based education and learning. Don’t worry, if you missed it, you can find more information using the helpful links below. 


Teachers have been learning the new platform and have been entering grades.  On October 1, we will be sending you an invitation to Illuminate Education, the Gradebook platform we will be using to measure proficiency (or grades). You will be guided through how to visit your student/parent portal where you will see how your student is progressing on the standards.  In the meantime, the BEST person to ask about how they are progressing and LEARNING the standards are your students!


The following questions are helpful to ask your students and they truly know the answers:

  • What standards do you think you still need to learn?

  • What practice, studying and/or re-teaching opportunities have you completed in preparation for the next assessment or learning opportunity on the standard?

  • Have you discussed how you might improve a learning opportunity with your teacher?

  • If the student has demonstrated level 3 proficiency on the standard – How might you demonstrate that you are above proficient on the standard? 

  • Have you discussed opportunities to demonstrate that you are above proficient with your teacher?

We are excited about this journey into competency based learning and standards based grading.  We KNOW it is best for student learning!

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