Grading Practices – Secondary Grades 10-12
We believe in using grading practices to promote student learning.
We believe the general purpose of assessment is:
o to accurately measure a student’s learning, academic performance, and competency proficiency
o to accurately report that measure through the use of a grading metric.
We believe that quality assessment must:
o arise from a clearly articulated set of achievement expectations (standards and / or competencies);
o serve an instructionally relevant purpose;
o rely on a proper method;
o sample student achievement in an appropriate manner; and
o control for all relevant sources of bias and distortion that can lead to inaccurate assessment.
We believe that assessment and grading are exercises in professional judgment, and that these judgments are made judiciously, fairly, and can be clearly explained to students, parents, and other educators.
We believe that the grades reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement, with special consideration given to more recent evidence.
PURPOSES OF GRADES
A. Communicate a measure of student achievement of content standards and course outcomes.
B. Provide feedback and guidance regarding student learning.
Our grading policy reflects our beliefs.
1. Evidence of student achievement is collected over time from three different sources:
c. student products (eg. tests or exams and/or assignments, rich performance tasks, demonstrations, projects and/or essays)
Using multiple sources of evidence increases the reliability and validity of the evaluation.
2. Assignments for evaluation are to be completed, whenever possible, under the supervision of a teacher.
3. Teachers shall return students’ assessed work in a timely manner in order to facilitate next-step learning.
4. Non-academic factors (like attendance, lateness, behaviour, effort, work habits, volunteering in class, etc.) are reported separately from academic factors.
5. Teachers assess and evaluate student work with reference to established criteria and student learning outcomes. Students will be given clear criteria and be made aware of the evaluation process prior to beginning an assignment or grading task.
6. Homework completion forms a BDEC policy requirement. It must be remembered that the purpose of homework is to give students opportunities to complete work begun in class and to apply the skills and knowledge taught. Assigning homework serves two purposes: to ensure students complete course outcomes, and to allow teachers an opportunity to provide further feedback on learning. At the same time, it is critical that bulk of graded work be completed under teacher supervision (see #2 above). For this reason, marks awarded for homework completion should be limited to no more than 5%. Teacher must treat homework like an assignment and provide students with criteria for success.
7. If a student has an excused absence when an assignment is due, the student should be given the opportunity to submit the assignment on his/her return to class. If a student is absent without cause, teachers may provide an alternative assignment or follow the guidelines for missed assignments.
8. Assignments for evaluation may involve group projects as long as each student’s work within the group project is evaluated independently and assigned an individual mark, as opposed to a common group mark.
9. The teacher should establish a completed assignment due date in consultation with students to ensure that the timelines are achievable. A due date should be set to allow students to complete their assignments in a timely fashion. Every opportunity should be given to allow students ample time to demonstrate evidence of learning.
10. When students fail to meet the established due date:
a. The teacher will notify the student of the missed assignment.
b. The student must clarify the reason for any missed assignment in writing (using the ETSS Late and Missed Assignment Form).
c. The student must offer a timeline for completion. The student must outline strategies for completion (e.g. access to Learning Center, after school support, tutoring, peer support, etc.)
d. Together, the student and the teacher will negotiate a suitable extension that allows ample time for grading and feedback for improvement
e. The teacher will notify the parent/guardian of the missed assignment and the plan for completion.
f. The teacher may provide an alternative opportunity for the student to demonstrate the same expectations.
g. An assignment may only receive a mark with no deductions or an incomplete (i.e., “I”). A giving a zero is a last resort and may not be assigned for any missed or late assignments unless all other steps above have been unsuccessful. Teachers should design projects with a number of assessment points so there will be basis for evaluation even if the student does not hand in the final assignment.
11. A reasonable closure date will be established at which point assignments will not be accepted. To encourage completing assignments by a due date, a culture of responsibility is encouraged. Students should be made aware of the need for proper planning and scheduling of commitments and schoolwork. The tendency to submit assignments late or to fail to submit assignments will be communicated to the parent by email/telephone and will be reflected in the written comments of the report card. It may also result in insufficient evidence for evaluation or successful completion of the course work.
12. Teachers are encouraged to provide second-chance learning opportunities for all students. Second-chance learning may include reteaching, extra practice, and the opportunity to demonstrate learning on another assessment.
13. Teachers should design the course Gradebook in classes in Power School by categories only, not terms and that final and mid-year exams are to be categories with in the courses.
ETSS Late and Missed Assignment Form
To be completed by the student and submitted to the teacher on or before the due date.
I _________________________ (student name) have not been able to meet the established due date ___________ (date) for this assignment/project _______________________________________________ (title/name of assignment).
I have been unable to meet the established due date because:
I would like to propose an alternative timeline for completion:
In order to meet this timeline, I will:
After discussing with the teacher, we have:
a) Accepted the proposed alternative timeline as stated above __________.
b) Negotiated an alternative to the proposal. The changes include:
The parent has been contacted on _____________________ (date) by ________________(email/phone/meeting). Parent comments: