Grading Policy

Colorado SKIES Academy has adopted the following grading policy to provide reports of student progress toward mastery of middle school content standards. Using a project-based learning approach, a combination of rubrics on projects/presentations and normal grading practices are used in determining a student’s overall grade. Grades are reflected in a normal percentage using the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) percentage assigned to each grade (A, B, C, etc.).

Reporting CSA student grades using the CCSD percentage system allows our students to easily (1) transition to CCSD high schools with grades already reflecting CCSD expectations, or to other school districts, and (2) help any of our students who transfer to another school mid-year or prior to the end of grade 8 to have a report card that is easily understood at other schools (even though we are a project-based school).

Grading Scale:

90-100% A
80-89% B
70-79% C
60-69% D
Below 59% F

Rubric Score Conversion

(for Projects/Presentations)

Rubric Score Description Conventional
% Conversion
5 Exceptional 100%
4 Above Proficient 93%
3 Proficient 85%
2 Approaching Proficient 72%
1 Not Yet 60%
0 Missing – No Evidence 0%
(This score is only given two times, once at the midpoint as a report of progress and once end-point of the project.)


With a project-based instructional delivery model, some students and parents are concerned with “group grades”. It is a CSA standard and expectation that groups and group projects support the learning for each student. Each student must demonstrate individual mastery of the content; a variety of methods are used to demonstrate mastery. Grading is based solely on each individual student’s mastery of the content as measured by the content level standard(s).

Weighted Assignments

Some assignments, tasks, or projects require more time and effort to complete. They are differentiated in the grade book by assigning a weight to those assignments that require more time and effort. Again, some of the assignments are graded with a conventional percentage grading scale while other assignments are graded on a rubric score that is converted to a conventional percentage score. (See Rubric Score Conversion.) For example, a prepared presentation would be worth 3 times as much as an in-class content assignment. Please note that the list below is just a representative sample of the types of assignments receiving a particular weight. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Weight Type of Assignment
1 Daily check for understanding, exit ticket, formative assessment, in-class work to check for content understanding.
2 Short quiz, short essay, info-graphic, etc.
3 Large project, paper, presentation, Presentation of Learning

Social Emotional Goal

An important part of a CSA education is to prepare our students to excel in their secondary and post-secondary pursuits. We purposefully teach postsecondary workforce readiness skills through the Colorado Essential Skills. Students evaluate themselves at different times throughout the year on their progress in one or more of these areas. Their evaluation is part of their Individualized Learning Plan [ILP]. The Social Emotional Goal is non-evaluative in that it does not factor into a grade. However, it is a key tool in helping our students understand their growth in his/her ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) Colorado Essential Skills and share their reflections with their parents. Specifically, the Colorado Essential Skills are:

  • PERSONAL: Self-Awareness; Initiative and Self-Direction; Personal Responsibility; Adaptability and Flexibility; Perseverance and Resilience
  • ENTREPRENEURIAL: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Creativity and Innovation; Inquiry and Analysis; Informed Risk Taking
  • CIVIC & INTERPERSONAL: Collaboration and Teamwork; Communication and Information Technologies; Global and Cultural Awareness; Civic Engagement; Character
  • PROFESSIONAL: Task and Time Management; Career Awareness; Information Literacy; Use of Information and Communication Technologies; Self-Advocacy; Leadership

Colorado SKIES Academy knows how important it is to prepare our students for career success in high school and beyond. Thus, the growth CSA students make in their Social Emotional Goal (Colorado Essential Skills) is reflected in our “grade” at the end of the year, reported to the Board of Directors and posted to our website. It is our responsibility to demonstrate and report our success in educating the whole child and teaching students the soft skills so important in career success beyond high school.