Why Did Olympia Middle School Make This Transition

Skills based reporting is a system designed to promote ultimate student ownership of learning.  In 2012 Dr. John Hattie published a book titled Visible Learning for Teachings: Maximizing Impact on Learning in which he shared his results of years of research that sought to find out what had the most profound impact on student learning.  His research team was able to determine that student ownership of learning has the greatest impact on student achievement.

Dr. Hattie found that when students truly own their own learning, they could make three years of growth within a single school year.  When students own their learning, they know what it is that they are learning, why they are learning it, and what adjustments they need to make to improve the learning process.  In order to best facilitate student ownership of learning, Olympia Middle School employs a skills based reporting system.


Along with student ownership of learning, grading practices and principles are an essential part of the student experience.  The staff at Olympia Middle School believes the following points about grading and scoring can be most effectively achieved in a skills based reporting environment.


  • The primary goal of grading and scoring is communication to students, parents, and teachers.
  • Grading and scoring are evaluations of what a student knows and are able to do based on clearly established skills.
  • Grading and scoring should be timely, accurate, specific, and fair.
  • Grading and scoring are key in the instructional process so that teachers and parents can provide the appropriate support.
  • Grading and scoring need to provide information and evidence that students can use for self-evaluation.