Is Citizens of Granite Coming to Skyline?


Credit: Granite School District

Skyline High School teachers and administrators are currently debating the implementation of a new citizenship rubric, “Citizens of Granite”. The goal of this new system is to allow teachers a more adequate way to track students’ actions. When parents and students ask why the student received the citizenship score that lowered their grade, the teachers are able to look back at the rubric and give specifics. This is meant to correct some of the previous gaps in the Proficiency-Based Learning system, which didn’t allow teachers to penalize students for late work and behaviors in class. However, Skyline teachers have some concerns.

Jill Thackeray, the English department head, explained that some teachers will be especially overwhelmed next year. “We’re learning a new Gradebook, and those of us who haven’t done PBL before will also be learning that, and [Dr. Nerdin] has asked the district to give us one year to hold off and learn those first, and roll out the new citizenship standards next year. He let us vote on it, and half the staff voted to wait, and the other half voted not to wait.”

In the wake of this schoolwide indecision, the principal encouraged Skyline teachers to reach out to teachers from other schools in the district who are already piloting Citizens of Granite. Teachers in schools with the new system in use feel that the principle behind the rubric was created with good intentions in mind, but as of right now, has not been beneficial to students. Teachers feel the amount of effort they are putting into filling out the rubrics is not impacting students, since only a composite citizenship score is shown, and not individual class scores. Many have given up trying to put true consideration into the scores they input for students, further demeaning the original purpose of the system.

The district hopes to fix this issue by rolling out a new grading portal to replace Gradebook, called Focus School Software. This may eliminate the issues facing the new citizenship rubric but for many, it seems like added stress implementing and learning another software. Although many teachers are still debating this rubric, some students at Skyline have a completely different perspective on citizenship grading altogether. 

 Micah Barton, an 11th grader here at Skyline, feels as though students should not be docked citizenship points for being late if they have a good excuse. He also feels that students get wrongly docked points for talking in class when the conversation focuses on the material being studied. He also does not believe it will help students be more on top of their citizenship grade by contacting students’ parents. He feels that not all parents will care and those that do already receive emails about their child’s grades. 

Yes, it is hard to keep students accountable for their actions in class. As Granite District gears up to try and solve this issue through the new citizenship rubric teachers and students are still indecisive about the layout through new software, amount of effort needed for it to work, and if students actions will actually change for the better. More debates over this rubric are still to come and changes may be made. Nothing has been finalized but new changes to Granites grading system are on the horizon.