Grading Information

Criteria for Assessment

In music, I used a “standards-based assessment” model for grading. Basically, this means that the grade that your child receives in music is determined by how they are doing as compared to the music standards. Throughout the term, we are working on the nine different standards. Most of the assessment happens in three areas: singing, playing instruments, and the ability to read and notate music. Detailed rubrics (both in the original and “kid-friendly” language) are available on my website.

Error in Synergy ParentVUE

ParentVUE and StudentVUE currently reflect an overall A-F letter grade. This is an ongoing issue with the system our school district is working to fix. The computer does assign a percentage to proficiency marks, but please draw no correlation between percentages and A-F letter grades. I do not have the ability to assign them in the computer, nor will a letter grade be attached to a child's long term academic records.

Music Proficiency Grade

Starting in 2014-2015, students at OPE will receive only a three separate standards-based grade for music, rather than a letter grade. Marks received will be based upon the average of assessment scores in that skill domain assessed that term - singing, playing instruments, and reading & notating music. Participation scores are, however, entered into Synergy so that parents can see and monitor student effort and participation in class.

Grade Scale for Skill Grades

Skill grades are determined by proficiency toward the grade level standards for music, not effort and participation. There are four levels of proficiency set forth in the standards: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and Emerging. These refer to the state of your child’s progress toward the standards. They translate to letter grades as follows:


Report Card Grade

95% and above

E (exceeds standards)

80 - 94.9%

M (meets standards)

70 - 79.9%

NM (nearly meets)

69.9% and below

D (developing)

Participation Grades

These grades assess effort and participation, and are based on the participation rubric. These are reported using the same E, M, NM, DNM scale.

Redo Policy

From time to time, students may wish to retake skill assessments in music. My students may retake all standards-based assessments again for a higher grade when desired and as often as desired. All retaken playing or singing assessments or notation tests must be completed by appointment with me outside of their regularly scheduled class time. Written work may be completed at home and turned in again for a new score.


Should you have specific questions about why your child earned a specific grade, please feel free to contact me.