• Mastery Philosophy and Practices

    The following philosophy and practices guide how we assess student achievement and communicate progress toward meeting learning goals.



    Grades should clearly communicate what students know and are able to do in each class.

    We report on student mastery and process toward specific skills, knowledge and abilities called “Learning Targets.” Learning Targets involve relevant standards in each content area.

    Students should have multiple opportunities to show what they know and can do.

    We ask students to build a body of work to demonstrate their mastery of learning targets. Students typically encounter Learning Targets multiple times throughout high school and are evaluated through projects or performance assessments.

    Schools should support students in acquiring all of the essential knowledge and skills in a course, not just a portion of it.

    To earn full academic credit, students must demonstrate proficiency or mastery in 80% of all Learning Targets within each course.

    Students learn at different rates (or paces).

    Students can receive additional time to meet Learning Targets via individualized support plans or may move ahead to new courses once mastery has been demonstrated.  

    Regular communication with families about student progress supports deeper learning.

    We formally report progress 4 times a year and soon will provide families with real-time access to information about student performance through an online system (Cortex).


    Mastery-Based Grading System

    At 360 High School, we believe that all students are on the path to graduate from high school prepared for the college or career of their choice-- a process that intensifies in 9th grade.  As a result, we have adopted a rigorous mastery-based grading system, in which students are scored on a proficiency scale ranging from 0-4 based on their demonstrated level of mastery of identified learning targets (or “Necessary Skills/Knowledge”).  In this type of grading system, students are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate what they know and are never “stuck” with a low grade because they failed a test or assignment.  However, students are expected to keep trying until they reach at least a 2 on the scale for each learning target to be considered proficient.   


    Complex learning goal


    In addition to 3.0 performance, partial success at score 4.0 content


    Target learning goal (mastery)


    No major errors or omissions regarding 2.0 content, and partial success at 3.0 content


    Basic learning goal


    Partial success at 2.0 content, and major errors or omissions regarding 3.0 content


    With help, partial success at 2.0 and 3.0 content


    With help, partial success at 2.0 content but not at 3.0 content


    Even with help, no success