Policies and general information » School Wide Grading policy

School Wide Grading policy

Grades are the common language through which students, teachers, families, school leaders, and field staff communicate about students’ learning throughout the school year. Grades provide feedback to students and families about academic progress, influence students’ motivation and engagement in their learning, inform instructional and programmatic decisions, and shape postsecondary outcomes (NYC DOE Grading Policy Toolkit – August 2021).  
 
As we support students in their academic recovery, it is more important than ever to ensure that students’ grades accurately represent their progress. The 2021-22 school year provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how decisions about grading policies impact the learning experiences of all our students—especially those most impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
All of the following components shall contribute to the assessment of a student’s academic performance: Summative assessment and formative assessments. It is the responsibility of each teacher at the beginning of the semester to explain to the students, both orally and in writing, the criteria which will be used for grading in that class and to indicate the specific weight given to each of the criteria. All teachers and all departments will follow this school wide breakdown of grading components: 
 
Summative Assessments:                                                                                  
 
Exams and Quizzes   40-50%                                                                                                           
Overall testing will account for no less than 40% and not more that 50% of the student’s grade. Each teacher establishes the specific weight of this criterion in a uniform manner for all students in his-her classes.  
Projects, performances, tasks, presentations, lab reports, etc.                                
Teachers shall provide challenging projects/literacy tasks for their students based on their ability levels and the scope and sequence of the course. Projects shall be designed by the teacher to enhance students’ reading, writing, critical thinking and problem solving skills.  
 
Formative Assessments:
                                                                                                
Homework   10-20% 
Homework for practice or preparation for instruction may account for no more than 20 percent of students’ overall grade. Homework should be viewed as formative, allowing for practice of new skills and knowledge. In deciding whether to grade homework, keep in mind that completion of and performance on homework reflects students’ work habits, home environment, and access to other people who may assist them. Students have unequal access to out-of-school time and resources to support homework completion. Consider giving feedback on homework, rather than grading it.  
Each teacher shall provide a homework rubric at the start of the semester which is used uniformly to grade homework. 
 
Classwork  30-40%  
This component of each student’s grade is determined by the quality and frequency of each student’s performance in class activities, including written assignments, oral recitations and presentations as well as participation in group and individual activities, exercises, discussions, and projects in class. Students should be provided with a clear rubric for each classwork task that identifies the grading criteria for classwork. In this area students shall be graded objectively on the basis of their “achievement level,” not in terms of their “personality type.” Sensitivity to those students whose cultural or psychological background, learning disabilities, and/or limited familiarity with English inhibit their verbal participation in classroom activities shall be taken into consideration in the determination of students’ performance in this area. Students’ participation in class activities must be evaluated and recorded by the teacher on an ongoing basis. 
 
***Class participation is not a category unto itself. Teachers should not assign arbitrary scores to students for class participation.***  
 
***Parental engagement is a key component to a student’s success. Teachers must notify parents/guardians by telephone, by e-mail, or in writing, before a student receives a failing grade for each marking period, or a grade significantly lower than previously reported progress. A parental outreach log must be maintained by all teachers to record communication between the teacher and parent/guardian.*** 
 
Each of the above three factors must be a component of the students’ grade. The specific weight given to each of the above components which contribute to determining students’ course grades shall be established by the department and teacher in an objective and uniform manner the general range of parameters that have been established by the consensus of the department.