A New Way to Learn

A unique approach to learning introduced by Mrs. Russell, ungrading prepares our Upper School students for success in higher education and beyond. Instead of struggling to stay on top of a mountain of work and memorizing information only for the test, students operate in an environment designed for deep, long-lasting learning. Ungrading focuses on student progress and achievement over time and is backed by mind and brain education science. Students assess their prior knowledge of course objectives, then engage in work to meet those objectives utilizing highly descriptive feedback from their teacher, their peers and themselves as opposed to number or letter grades. Automatic rewrites of tests and essays are built into instruction, where students have the opportunity to work one-on-one with the teacher to improve their performance. Students evaluate their learning to identify gaps in their knowledge or skills and take responsibility for working to close those gaps. The student-teacher relationship evolves from transactional to one built on trust and collaboration. A final project encompasses the entirety of the semester's work. Students compile a portfolio that showcases their progress and achievements as well as areas for continued improvement. Students are measured against themselves in determining their level of success in meeting course objectives. Ungrading fully prepares students for higher education, as the ever-changing academic world becomes more collaborative and project-based. Students pursuing post-secondary education will find this method valuable in their quest for careers that engage their passions and encourage lifelong learning.