2014 Knowles Teaching Fellow John Holcomb helped implement standards-based grading in the science department at San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California, during the 2018–19 school year. After participating in a collaborative working group in 2015 with other Knowles Fellows, John began implementing standards-based grading in his classroom. He found that standards-based grading helped him to better understand what his students did and did not learn, so he shared his experience with the principal and assistant principal at his school.

In spring 2016, at the request of his principal, John led three, one-hour professional development sessions on standards-based grading that were attended by all 30 teachers at the school. He received overwhelmingly positive feedback from colleagues and administration. Since the professional development, standards-based grading has become a central focus of his department’s collaboration and common planning.