York Secondary Grading Philosophy, Policy, and Practices
Grading is the translation of the information from a student’s assessments into an overall evaluation of a student’s standards-aligned knowledge and skills at the end of every semester. Grades are reported in Infinite Campus on an ongoing basis to communicate ongoing progress to parents and students. Grades should only represent learning, growth, and mastery. York teachers recognize that all students want to be successful - If they are not demonstrating success, they need more support. Thus, grading should be supportive, not punitive. Failing or otherwise low grades do not generally motivate struggling students.
A posted letter grade (A, B, C, etc.) is, in theory, a summation of all the learning and subject area mastery a student achieved during any given one-semester class. In reality, condensing this into a single letter grade is a herculan and nearly impossible task. York recognizes that there is much, much more about student experiences than can possibly be captured in a single letter. However, posted letter grades serve a few important and vital purposes:
- They are a strong communication tool with students and parents.
- They are required for CHSAA eligibility.
- They assist students in the pursuit of some post-secondary opportunities, such as college and academic scholarships.
Posted grades are only based on the following
- Grades are based on learning and mastery.
- At least 80% of any classroom gradebook must be based on summative assessments. These measure knowledge and skills after students have been given the opportunity and support needed to master the material.
- Up to 20% of any classroom gradebook may be based on a Standards Aligned Practice category. This category may contain assignments that represent a student's participation in the necessary practice needed for students to reach mastery. Examples of this are homework, in-class quizzes, participation in independent reading, or participation in science labs. This category should not contain assignments aligned to things unrelated to academic standards.
- Behavior, attendance, and participation are never a factor in grading.
How letter grades are calculated
- Letter grades at York are calculated based on the Mapleton Four Point Scale. The use of a consistent conversation scale ensures that students at any Mapleton school using the 4 point scale are held to consistent and equitable expectations.
- York uses a modified version of the Mapleton scale that includes the use of plus (+) and minus (-) denotations. The difference between a B+ and a B is merely symbolic and does not impact a student's grade point average (GPA).
- Students may request assessment extensions in writing in advance of the posted deadline. When accommodating extension requests made in advance of due dates, teachers set the conditions for assessment completion that may include:
- completing the assessment in a supervised setting after school or during lunch
- additional tutoring and preparation requirements
- in the interests of assessment security, a different version of the test or product
- When an unforeseeable emergency or extenuating circumstance results in a missed deadline, the teacher will work with the student to establish a plan to support the student in completing the assessment. Students will have a minimum 1-week window to complete the missed assessment. The assessment will initially be scored with an M in Infinite Campus and will be calculated as a 0. Assessments turned in late will be assessed in the same manner as on-time work; students will not be punished academically for late work. If a missed assessment is not turned in, the teacher may assign a 0 or the teacher may exempt the assignment in exceptional circumstances.
- This policy is for excused absences only and is offered at teacher discretion.
Fair, consistent, and equitable grading
- York teachers report student achievement to students, parents and other stakeholders by issuing letter grades, and in doing so strive to ensure these judgments are accurate, meaningful, consistent, and support learning. To achieve this, York teachers will reach final grade determinations by primarily focusing on the most recent and relevant summative assessment data by having the option to exclude or “No Count” earlier assessments on the same standard when more recent assessments are a better representation of current student learning.
- Zeros are rarely ever assigned for assessments that are turned in. The minimum score is a 1 when a student makes a reasonable attempt at an assessment.
- When academic dishonesty occurs, students are not penalized academically and are still held accountable for the learning and assessment. The assessment for which dishonesty occurred will be given a temporary 0 in the gradebook. The student will be expected to complete a secondary assignment holding them accountable for the same learning. Reflection and additional practice work may be required by the teacher. The instance of academic dishonesty will be entered into IC (if a pattern of academic dishonesty emerges, the student may become ineligible for redoing assignments where cheating or plagiarism is evident). When complete, this new score will replace the temporary 0. This assignment will be graded on the same scale as the original assignment and will be aligned to the same expectations and level of rigor as the original assignment. Additionally, the student will meet with the teacher and administrator to repair trust. The student may appeal the consequences of academic dishonesty. Nonacademic consequences may be applied by an administrator.