Determining Quarter and Final Grades (Secondary Grading and Reporting)
Guidance on expectations and best practices related to the determining quarter and final grades for report cards. Information about final exams is also included.
Each quarter the student will receive a letter grade to designate the level of achievement in a course for the previous nine weeks (for traditional gradebook) or up to that point in time (for rolling gradebook). The quarter grade is determined by using the procedure outlined in the teacher’s grading design.
All grades reflect the teacher’s professional judgment of student achievement. Teachers are responsible for justifying their grades whenever the need exists.
Quarter grades awarded to students will be A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, or F and may be based on trends in and mastery of learning rather than based solely on numerical averaging of all grades earned during the quarter.
If numerical averaging methodology is used with a 100 point scale, grades are to be rounded to the next whole number when equal to 0.5 or greater. If a 4 point scale is being used, grades are to be rounded to the next tenth when equal to 0.05 or greater.
Final Exams (High school credit courses only)
A final examination or appropriate culminating activity, such as a presentation of learning (POL) will be given in all high school courses and must be based on the standards listed in the Program of Studies or other designated curriculum.
The grade for the final examination or activity may count a maximum of one-fifth (20%) of the final course grade if the exam addresses the entire course syllabus. Semester final exams may count a maximum of one-fifth of the course grade.
Students are to be afforded an opportunity prior to the close of school to discuss examination results and final grades with their teachers.
A makeup final examination or activity is permitted only in the case of a student whose absence is excused. A student whose absence from the final examination or activity is unexcused will receive an F for that examination. Exceptions to this must be approved by the principal.
Final exams and midterms are not eligible for retakes. Principals shall keep all final examination papers for one year.
Final grades awarded to students will be A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, or F. Students may be awarded a higher grade based on trends in and mastery of learning.
If numerical averaging methodology is used with a 100 point scale, grades are to be rounded to the next whole number when equal to 0.5 or greater. If a 4.0 point scale is being used, grades are to be rounded to the next tenth when equal to 0.05 or greater.
For traditional gradebooks, converting quarter and final exam grades to quality points and averaging when calculating a student’s final course grade for all students is allowed at the teacher’s discretion and is required to be considered when a student is in danger of failing the course. Quality points are awarded as follows:
For rolling gradebook, close examination of trends in and mastery of learning is required to be considered when a student is in danger of failing the course.
The Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (8 VAC 20-131) allows high schools to consider the student’s end-of-course Standards of Learning (SOL) test score in determining the student’s final course grade. However, no student who has failed an end-of-course SOL test but passed the related course shall be prevented from taking any other course in a content area and from taking the applicable end-of-course SOL test. This applies to high school courses taught in middle school. Teachers must ensure grading practices that are equitable and do not disadvantage students who are prohibited from taking SOL assessment or choose not to take the assessment. Any practice of adjusting final exam grades based on SOL test results should be implemented in such a way to avoid inequities for students. When offering a benefit to students meeting SOL test performance expectations, an equivalent alternative opportunity should be offered for students who are not taking the SOL test.
When a student has more than one teacher for a course, the last teacher assigns the final course grade and will consult, if possible, with the former teacher(s) in arriving at that mark.
Quality points shall be assigned to final grades earned in all courses for which high school credit is received and will be used in Grade Point Average (GPA) calculations.
Principals shall keep all teachers’ grade books and grading records for the current year plus five years.