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Introduction and History

  “Although the shift from traditional grading practices to standards-based grading may require educators, students, and parents to reframe their existing beliefs and expectations about grades, the benefits to all stakeholders are powerful enough to warrant the change” (Heflebower 2014).


BPS Believes...

BPS Mission

"All students will have the academic, social, and personal skills to be career, college, and community ready."

 BPS Vision

"Together, we inspire a passion for learning, discovery, and excellence."


In 2007-2008, Bismarck Public Schools (BPS) started implementing standards-based education (SBE) and reporting practices with incoming kindergarten students.  BPS believes that giving students and parents honest and accurate information regarding their progress on both academic and success skills is a key factor in creating passionate, successful, lifelong learners.

BPS currently uses standards-based reporting in grades K-8, which means students receive number scores based on their level of proficiency within a specific standard. High school students will need letter grades for the foreseeable future; thus, there is no current plan to exchange letter grades for number scores (4, 3, 2, 1) at the high school level. Maintaining letter grades as the method of reporting, however, does not change the practices of a standards-based classroom where grades or scores are based on student achievement of academic knowledge, skills, and processes; where grades are a reflection of what students know and can do in relation to the standards.  


» Parent Guide to SBE