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Our Grading Philosophy


* The VIDA Faculty follow a Mastery-Based Grading philosophy. This is a hybrid of "Standards Based Grading" and "Competency Based Grading."

* Explanation of Standards-based Grading and Competency-based grading: The distinguishing factor of "Standards-based" grading is that students are solely assessed on a rubric scale, for content/skill mastery. In a pure Standards-based grading format, homework is assigned, but not counted. Only mastery is counted. Students, having completed the "necessary" work assigned by the professional educator are often given the chance to prove their "mastery" of content/skill standards more than once as needed. This honors "growth" and "effort" by a student to reach mastery - which is the goal. "Competency-based" grading is closely associated with Standards-based grading to assess not just content/skill mastery as defined by state frameworks, but allows for proving competence with skills, processes, and practices. Often times in a true competency-based grading system, students have the opportunity to "advance" through curriculum at their own pace, versus being tied to "seat time" or instructional minutes to signify reaching the "end" of a grade level. Competency-based grading is becoming closely aligned with the movement towards Personalized Learning. Note that the concepts of "Personalized Learning" & "Competency Based Grading" are both gathering momentum for exploration and possible implementation in the Vista Unified School District.

* There is no "Extra Credit" at VIDA. Students who have completed assigned tasks (classwork & homework) will generally be able to submit re-do's on assignments or tests to help demonstrate mastery of concepts, skills, processes, and standards. Teachers may also issue "Intervention Assignments" that, if completed, would allow students to retake or redo assessments, or assignments as needed to gain mastery.

*Proposed definition of VIDA Mastery-based Grading: Grading at VIDA is a combination of mastering the content, skills, and standards of Common Core & Next Gen Science Standards, as well as the processes we believe are important for students to achieve (including VIDA GILLS).

*We believe in the power of reflection and feedback for student growth.

*Grading at VIDA is not based on traditional points (0-100), but rather a 4-point rubric. VIDA employs several types of rubrics. Teachers are able to adapt and use either type of rubric to fit the learning objectives. Students will have access to the rubric(s) prior to being accountable to it.

*The 4-point rubric is not meant to align directly to "traditional" letter grades of A = 4, B = 3, etc. Instead, all teachers use a consistent measure of translating rubric scores to traditional letter grades, based on a mathematical formula by the education testing & curriculum, Pearson.

*NOTE → The Rubric Grades do NOT equate to GPA. Rubric Grades equate to letter grades, which are then formulated into GPA.


NOTE → The Rubric Grades do NOT equate to GPA. Rubric Grades equate to letter grades, which are then formula.

Rubric Grade        

Equated Letter Grade.         


3.21 +



2.41 - 3.2



1.61 - 2.4



.81 - 1.60



0 - .80