During the transition to a proficiency-based system of teaching and learning, districts and schools will need to review and possibly revise existing policies, while also creating new policies that address emerging models, practices, and learning experiences.
The following district policy exemplar on grading and reporting systems can be adapted to suit local needs and contexts. The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or revise our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.
Western Mountains Regional School Unit No. 99
Grading and Reporting System
The purpose of the Western Mountains Regional School Unit grading policy is to establish a set of guiding principles that all district educators will use to establish a system of grading that fairly, clearly, accurately, and consistently communicates student learning progress and achievement.
A. Communicating the Grading System
To ensure that every student and family has the information and resources they need to understand and appropriately plan a student’s educational decisions, our schools, educators, and staff will clearly and consistently communicate—prior to entering high school and throughout the student’s educational career—all important and relevant information related to the grading systems used in East High School. The Superintendent, through the Principal or other designee, shall be responsible for ensuring that accurate, up-to-date information concerning the East High School grading system is (1) readily available to all incoming students and their families in the spring preceding the start of each school year, and (2) published on the district and high school websites. A detailed guide to grading and reporting practices will be disseminated to all incoming ninth-grade students and their families at the time of course selection. This policy will also be referenced in each edition of the student handbook and on the district and high school websites. As soon as it is practical and feasible, the Board expects the Superintendent or designee to inform all students and their families of any modifications made to the grading system.
B. Academic Grading
All grading and reporting practices at East High School will reflect the following design characteristics:
- The primary purpose of the grading system shall be to fairly, clearly, accurately, and consistently communicate learning progress and achievement to students, families, postsecondary institutions, potential employers, and other relevant stakeholders and audiences.
- The grading system shall be designed to ensure that students, families, teachers, counselors, advisors, and support specialists have the detailed information they need to make important decisions about a student’s education.
- The grading system will measure, report, and document student proficiency against a set of clearly defined cross-curricular and content-area graduation standards developed by the administration, faculty, and staff of East High School.
- The grading system will measure, report, and document academic progress and achievement separately from habits of work, character traits, and behaviors.
- The grading system will ensure consistency and fairness in the assessment of learning, and in the assignment of scores and proficiency levels, across students, teachers, assessments, learning experiences, content areas, and time.
- The grading system shall not be used as a form of punishment.
C. Habits of Work Grading
All grading and reporting practices for habits of work, character traits, and behaviors at East High School will reflect the following design characteristics:
- The East High School administration, faculty, and staff will develop and apply a common set of Habits of Work standards, and related scoring criteria, that teachers will use to grade students on work habits, character traits, and/or behaviors.
- The Habits of Work grading system will measure, report, and document habits of work, character traits, and behaviors separately from academic progress and achievement. A student achieving a high level of academic proficiency may demonstrate a low level on Habits of Work proficiency, and vice versa.
- Habits of Work will be monitored over the duration of a learning experience and scores, as measured and determined using common assessment methods and scoring criteria, will be reported for each student at the end of a term or grading period.
- The Habits of Work grading system will ensure consistency and fairness in the assessment of work habits, and in the assignment of scores and proficiency levels, across students, teachers, assessments, course, learning experiences, content areas, and time.
- Habits of Work grades shall be communicated using the same performance levels used for academic reporting.
- Habits of Work grades shall not be used as a form of punishment.
D. Grading Assessments
East High School will employ a consistent system of grading that reports student learning progress and achievement across two aligned categories on a 4-point scale that aligns Proficiency Levels with Proficiency Descriptions. Using rubrics and scoring guides, individual assessments will be scored in accordance with the following Proficiency Levels and Proficiency Descriptions:
|Proficiency Levels||Proficiency Descriptions|
E. Grading Courses and Learning Experiences
Aggregate proficiency scores on graduation standards shall be derived through a common and consistently applied process that is collaboratively developed by the administration, faculty, and staff at the school and approved by the Principal. Aggregate Proficiency Levels and Proficiency Descriptions for (1) academic courses and other learning experiences defined in the district’s Multiple Learning Pathways policy and (2) student achievement of each graduation standard shall be rounded to a single decimal point and reported in accordance with the following categories:
|Proficiency Levels||Proficiency Descriptions|
F. Changes to the Grading System
The school administration, faculty, and staff, under the leadership of the Principal, may modify the reporting system based on the evolving needs of students, teachers, families, and other stakeholders, but the Proficiency Levels shall remain fixed, and will continue to measure, report, and document student proficiency against a set of clearly defined and consistently applied cross-curricular and content-area standards.
G. Grade Point Average
East High School will employ a consistent system of grading, scoring, and aggregating proficiency that will produce a rolling and cumulative Grade Point Average for each student. The Grade Point Average will be reported on the official East High School transcript and will be used to determine Latin honors in accordance with the following categories of academic distinction described in the district Academic Recognition policy: Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors): a minimum GPA of 3.9 Magna Cum Laude (with great honors): a minimum GPA of 3.7 Cum Laude (with honors): a minimum GPA of 3.5
IK: Assessment of Student Learning
IKC: Transcripts IKD: Academic Recognition
IKFF: Multiple Pathways
The Great Schools Partnership encourages state agencies, nonprofit organizations, districts, and schools to use or adapt our policies for noncommercial purposes in the public interest.
Download the District Policy Exemplar: Grading and Reporting System (.doc)
Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified by Great Schools Partnership is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.