Standards Based Grading Toolkit Series

Success with Standards, Targets, Assessments, Grading and Reporting

6-Part Series

Spring Cohort 1


April 4,

April 20,

May 4,

May 11,

May 18, and

May 25, 2022

School Teacher


4:30 - 5:30 pm Central Time

Videos available until June 30, 2022

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Session Occurs on Zoom





Summer Cohort 1

This will be a "flipped cohort." Participants in the Flipped Cohort will watch the session videos in advance of the live Zoom sessions. During the live Zoom sessions, the attendees will work to develop practices that can be used in their classroom, school or district to gain a deeper understanding of the content of the series. 

June 6,

June 20,

July 11, 2022

Each date will cover 2 of the topics.

School Teacher


8:00 - 10:00 am Central Time

Empty Classroom

Session Occurs on Zoom





Summer Cohort 2


August 8 and

August 15, 2022

Each date will cover 3 of the topics.

School Teacher


8:00 - 11:00 am Central Time

Videos available until September 30, 2022.

Empty Classroom

Session Occurs on Zoom





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Making the decision to shift grading practices is exciting and terrifying all at the same time! Maybe you’ve wanted to alter your practices, to make learning more meaningful, but you weren’t sure how. Or, you simply want to learn more about what you can do in your classroom to transform practices, even though your school isn’t ready to take the leap. Stepping outside of your comfort zone, and what’s familiar to most, can bring a great deal of uncertainty. This series is designed to help!

Whether you are a brand new teacher, or a teacher looking to expand your skill set in grading and reporting practices, the S.T.A.G.R. Toolkit Series is for you! Drawing upon the work of Dr. Thomas Guskey, Ken O’Connor, and others, this series will support teachers in learning and implementing the components of Standards Based Grading. 

Led by Dr. Garth Larson, Author of Grading for Impact and Becky Peppler, Director of the Learner FIRST Center for Assessment and Grading, participants will learn about the 4 main components of Standards Based Grading and have the opportunity to develop strategies and action plans for use within their classrooms/schools. Functioning as a professional learning community, the facilitators and fellow participants will support teachers as they try out their new learning between sessions and as they seek out the tools they need to be successful in their grading and reporting practices.

As a result of participating in this series, teachers will develop the confidence and the strategies they need to start making grading practices more meaningful!


Garth Larson, Ed.D is the Co-Founder and President of FIRST Educational Resources. Garth has previously worked as the Director of Learning for the Winneconne Community School District in  northeast Wisconsin, was an elementary principal in two separate buildings and started his career in education as a high school speech and English teacher. In 2011, Garth formed Wisconsin Educational Resources (now FIRST) with a focus on improving student achievement across the United States. Since 2011, over 1500 school districts throughout the globe have become partnership districts with his company. Garth currently consults with school districts around the world and provides customized professional development around a variety of topics, mainly Professional Learning Communities 2.0, Learning-Centered Grading Practices, Leadership and School Improvement. Garth is also the author of Collaborative Systems of Support: Learning for ALL with co-authors Tom Hierck and Chris Weber, Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams: 13 Steps to Moving Beyond Standards with co-author Tom Hierck, Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System and PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools with co-author Cale Birk.


Garth Larson


Becky Peppler

Becky Peppler is the Director of the Learner FIRST Center for Assessment and Grading (a division of FIRST Educational Resources). She has 15 years of professional experience in public education, working in the Winneconne Community School District in northeast Wisconsin. Becky has spent time as a 6-12 Instructional Coach with a focus on supporting teachers in the classroom on a daily basis. Prior to her role as an instructional coach, Becky taught Chemistry and Forensic Science and was the 6-12 Science Curriculum Chair. She is a member of the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers (WSST), where she was awarded the Excellence in Science Education Award for the state of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Science Education Leadership Association (WSELA). Becky has helped the Winneconne Community School District transition to Target Based Grading at the middle and high school levels. She has a passion for designing meaningful assessments practices, making reassessment work, target based learning implementation, building social and emotional skills and ensuring that all students continue to learn at high levels. Becky currently consults to school districts all over the United States in these areas.

Session Information

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Session 1

Introduction to the Four Pillars of Standards-Based Grading and Identifying Our Current Realities

This session will focus on “why” changes in assessment, grading and reporting are critical in education in 2021 and beyond. During this interactive session, Garth Larson and Becky Peppler will share the key premises of the STAGR process, practical tools on how to accomplish these key ideas and the results of districts that have successfully implemented such changes in their Pre-K through 12th grade settings.

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Session 3

Pillar 2- Making Reassessment Work in Your School and Classroom

One of the common questions that continually comes up in schools is how to successfully make reassessment work on behalf of students and teachers. During this session, we will explore options for Reassessment that will make the process feel doable and manageable in your classroom. Participants will walk away with templates to begin planning the process of reassessment in their classroom.

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Session 5

Pillar 4 - Using 
Student-Proficiency as the Basis for Academic Achievement Scores

During session 5, we will explore how schools can begin to transition from using the traditional 100 point scale to a proficiency based model for scoring. This includes examining different proficiency scales that exist, how schools have used them to still meet the expectations of the community and ultimately, ensure that academic grades students receive are truly reflective of student proficiency against standards or targets. We will also showcase how to engage in the process of identifying priority standards, writing clear learning targets and observables and how to build assessments that are based on the identified standards or learning targets within each course.

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Session 2

Pillar 1 -  Formative Practices in Standards-Based Grading

Formative work is a vital part of the learning process, the question becomes, should students be graded on the practice that occurs in the learning process? During this session we will determine strategies of how we can reduce the value of formative work so that academic grade is a true reflection of student learning. We will also look at ways to make formative practice more meaningful to students and staff alike.

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Session 4

Pillar 3 - Removing Non-Academic Factors from Academic Grades

One of the pillars of shifting grading and reporting practices, to make grades more meaningful, is the separation of  non-academic factors from academic grades. The question becomes, HOW do we make this happen and HOW do we make it matter to students? This interactive session will guide participants through the process of how to develop a system that will allow you to successfully separate non-academic factors from the academic grade. Examples of effective practices and procedures will be shared throughout the presentation along with guiding questions you can take back to your team. We will also address how to answer the common and difficult questions we may encounter during this transition.

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Session 6

Conversations and Communication Around Standards-Based Grading

One of the top questions we receive when working in schools all over the country is what does the gradebook and report card look like when we have completed the SBG process?  During this session, we will showcase real examples of how schools have successfully communicated student achievement with all stakeholders in a standards/target based system. This includes helping schools that still require a letter grade to learn a process for determining how to still keep the letter grade, but also ensure student proficiency is the basis for what goes into that letter grade.