School Name

NYC iSchool

Grades

9-12

Year founded

2008

Principal

Isora Bailey

Location

SoHo, Manhattan

Enrollment

450

 

  Teacher Sarah Prendergast hands out mastery checks to her students.

Teacher Sarah Prendergast hands out mastery checks to her students.

Who we are

The iSchool has attracted and admitted a remarkably diverse student body, with students coming to the school from all five boroughs of the City, some traveling over an hour and a half to attend the school each day.   The diversity is academic, racial, and socioeconomic.

 

Hallmarks of NYC iSchool's approach to mastery

The school’s grading policy has been in place since day 1, which allows students the opportunity to re-do assessment multiple times until mastery is displayed.  The math and english departments have taken mastery based grading to a higher level since 2010.

Our school wide grading policy is rooted in the belief that demonstrating mastery of skills and standards is the most important part of a course.  Consequently, our teachers spend a significant amount of time thinking deeply about what is important for students to know and be able to do, and align their assessments to demonstrating mastery of those skills and standards.

  A student receives extra help on a math target he struggled with during his previous assessment.

A student receives extra help on a math target he struggled with during his previous assessment.

What makes NYC iSchool unique?

The school’s grading policy breaks each class into three categories: Mastery Grades (assessments),  Productivity (homework and classwork) and Contributing Factors (other factors that add to the student’s success).    Students who do not demonstrate mastery on an assessment may redo the assignment (or an alternative) until mastery is reached.   

The school’s english department has a detailed rubric that tracks student skills and progress across grades.

The school’s math department breaks each unit into smaller Mastery Targets and assesses and tracks student achievement on individual targets not on units overall.

 

  Students add comments to each others' projects in a gallery walk.

Students add comments to each others' projects in a gallery walk.

What can other schools learn from you?

Schools can learn how to start a mastery based grading system from scratch.

How to track mastery in ANY subject!

 

How do you give feedback to student on progress and mastery?

 The math department communicates mastery information on unit exams  through ‘mastery tickets’ which indicate the students’ mastery level on each topic.

 

Grading Policy

All assignments fall into one of the three categories below:

Mastery - Summative assessments, where students have the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of a topic of skill. Student have the opportunity to re-submit or complete a reassessment if they have not fully mastered a topic or skill.

Productivity - daily homework or classwork, formative assessments

Contributing Factors - Behavior, attendance, punctuality, assignment deadlines

Resources

Mastery Info_3.png