South Sioux Schools introduce new science and grading standards - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

South Sioux Schools introduce new science and grading standards


South Sioux City schools have implemented changes this school year. 

"As students go off to school everyday, what they are learning has always been a priority, but South Sioux City Schools are now looking at how they are learning," reports Danielle Davis.

When it comes to science, gone are the days where teachers stand at the head of the classroom and lecture, now active learning is the new norm.

"I had students that were disengaged and wanting to go to the bathroom, on their cell phones,  but now, I am building better relationships because I am going around and talking with each one of them individually," said Anya Covarrubias, Science Teacher. 

Along with hands on learning, the new program gives context for the ideas being taught.

"I have always liked hands on projects because you actually learn, it's easier to understand if you are actually doing it," said Freshman, Kellen Sulzbach. 

Along with students experiencing a new way of learning, teachers have a new method in introducing subjects to their students. 

'It's been really exciting, them telling me what they know, it's not three worksheets that you need to get filled out. It's shifted the way that I teach, shifted the way that I grade, it's just a complete shift in my thinking," continued Covarrubias. 

The program also encourages educators to connect science to their building, district and community.Along with an improvement in the way students learn science, the way they are graded is also changing. 

The school district has also implemented a more comprehensive grading scale for students in grades kindergarten through fifth.

Officials say the new Standards Reference Grading is more efficient, and helps to fill holes in a child's education.

"Maybe doing a math problem, now instead of saying your kid has 80%, well what does that mean as far as skills go? What do they know? what do they not know? What can they do with those skills? continues Covarrubias. 

Twenty years of research went into this new grading system, and the school district took four years to strategically introduce to the program.

They are looking at implementing the program for grades sixth through 12th next year. 

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