To support students in developing higher-order thinking skills and to redefine learning not just as what students know but what they can do with what they know, Rockford Public Schools (RPS) 205 implemented a standards-based grading system in its 28 elementary schools. Five years after the launch of this initiative, RPS 205’s Board of Education mandated the district move forward with implementing the eSchoolPLUS Home Access Center portal for sharing student data with families.
Janice O’Brien is a software support specialist on Rockford Public Schools 205’s Information Technology team. In collaboration with the district’s executive director of learning, O’Brien supported the implementation of a standards-based gradebook in the district’s 28 elementary schools. Reflecting on that and other major initiatives, she advised districts to consider the following best practices to enhance the success of their efforts: