Grading Design (Secondary Grading and Reporting)
Guidance for teachers or teams of teachers on how to set up their grading design to ensure grades reflect learning.
Teachers should work in collaborative teams to develop a grading design for arriving at the quarter and final grades. Both traditional and rolling (cumulative) gradebook types are approved FCPS grading designs. All grades entered into the gradebook will relate directly to the standards listed in the Program of Studies or other designated curriculum and should reflect a student’s mastery of content or skills.
Teachers will separate achievement grades from work habit grades. This helps show learning versus responsible behavior. Teachers will communicate student’s attendance, effort, attitude or other behaviors to parents/guardians through report card comments or other means that do not include grades.
Guidance for teachers related to the separation of achievement and work habits:
- Homework for practice or preparation for instruction may account for no more than 10 percent of a quarter or final grade.
- Class participation may be included in a student’s grade when based on the quality of a student response and not the quantity of responses. If a team includes class participation in a student’s grade, guidelines for assessing must be included in the course syllabus.
- Students will not be given extra credit or grades for activities such as bringing in classroom materials, providing parent/guardian signatures, participating in fundraising/charitable events, or participating in non-curricular activities.
Teams may choose either 4 point grading scale or the 100 point grading scale. Grades may be calculated using a weighted category or total point system.
Collaborative teams are encouraged to set the grading design so that no one assignment/assessment counts for more than 30 percent of the quarter grade. This will ensure that no one assignment has a disproportionate impact on the quarter grade.
Grading designs should be approved by the department administrator and be given to students and parents/guardians at the beginning of the course as referenced in the Communicating with Students and Parents section.
A rolling gradebook (formerly known as yearlong or cumulative gradebooks) is a cumulative document. Final grades are determined by a combination of all assignments and assessments. It is not an average of quarter marks. The grade posted at the end of each traditional quarter is a snapshot of a student’s current progress in the course. If a teacher/team chooses to use a rolling gradebook, the following practices must be in place:
- Communication with the department administrator to ensure that they support the implementation plan.
- Ensure that all students understand:
- How the rolling gradebook works.
- How it may impact what they see in SIS StudentVUE and on report cards.
- Multiple, intentional communications to families. Information should be included in the syllabus and Back to School Night Presentation at a minimum. In addition, a school may require the teacher to send a letter to the families. Parents will need to be aware of how a rolling gradebook may impact what they see in SIS ParentVUE.
- Follow division guidelines for gradebook set up to ensure that timely grades are accessible via SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE.
Increased opportunities for students to show mastery is the primary benefit of a rolling gradebook. Teachers/teams should consider their late work and retake policies to leverage this grading plan.
Note: With a rolling gradebook, the method of converting quarter and final exam grades to quality points and averaging to calculating a student’s final course grade does not apply. (see Determining Quarter and Final Grades section)
More information about grade calculations is available in Determining Quarter and Final Grades.