Every class at Global Impact STEM Academy follows a mastery-level grading scale. Mastery is demonstrated through excellence in a concept, skill and/or content standard and proves that a student is ready for entry-level college coursework. The student is able to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, design, and transfer essential content in a professional way and makes strides to challenge and advance their own thinking and understanding. Mastery is displayed per unit, not for the entire class. Therefore, a student must consistently display mastery-level knowledge.
Want to learn about mastery quickly? See our grading infographic!
Benefits of the Mastery System
Mastery-level work allows students to be prepared for the real world, where one-shot testing and “C” work is not relevant.
A 90% is required across all coursework and demonstrates that a student is prepared for a college environment.
Through a challenging and rigorous curriculum, students recognize the ability to learn from being challenged rather than just going through the motions. Students are no longer able to maintain an “average” grade by just completing all of their work. They must complete their work and excel at it.
All mastery assignments have the ability to be resubmitted to their instructor. The goal of these assignments are for students to grow in their knowledge, and therefore, students may struggle in the completion of them.
Unlike a traditional school, the ability to resubmit assignments allows students to recognize their mistakes and learn from them. Although a mastery assignment is typically more difficult than a traditional school project, these assignments will advance students’ knowledge far greater.
Furthermore, remediation allows students to recognize the importance of deadlines. Although students may resubmit assignments, there is a strict deadline schedule that they must keep track of on their own. Students must take charge of their own education to prepare themselves for the real world.
Real Life Application
Mastery assignments are designed to be completed over multiple weeks and have students utilizing both content in the class as well as skills to use in the real world. For example, students may use DNA test results to prove how different phenotypes interact in a lab report, design a putt-putt course using mathematical formulas for planners to use in real construction projects, create a project in a game world to showcase how the characters from Of Mice and Men traveled their journey, or develop a website that demonstrates their knowledge of the impact of France on World War II.
Multiple Forms of Learning
Students will be challenged in the mastery system to demonstrate knowledge in more ways than just taking a test. Students who typically perform well on tests will learn how to convey that knowledge in real life applications for use in post-school life. However, tests will also be utilized to make sure that all students possess the foundations necessary for a college curriculum. In most instances, students will be able to choose how they design and implement many of their mastery projects. This allows for students to not only grasp essential content knowledge, but also to develop a love for learning that will aid them in the future.
At the end of the semester, students without mastery on a certain unit will have an opportunity to take a final. Students will meet with their instructors one-on-one to address concerns and ask questions. A final test will be given over any non-mastered material. Any student who fails to master the class during this time frame will be required to repeat the class. However, because of the two-year high school system at Global Impact STEM Academy, students are not left behind in graduating. Instead, students will just be delayed in taking a full college schedule their 3rd and 4th year.