Grading Practices for 2013-2014

Dear Middle School Parents and Guardians:

This letter is to inform you of the changes in grading practices that will take place for all students at Brody Middle School for the 2013-14 school year.  Next year Brody Middle School will transition to a standards-referenced grading system, which means that student progress and grades will be based on a student’s ability to demonstrate understanding of grade level standards.  Other important things, such as participation, work completion, and ability to work with others will be reported separately utilizing the “Citizenship and Employability Skills Rubric”.  The separation of academics and behaviors will increase the accuracy of grades and allow us to better communicate areas of strengths and concerns (feedback).

One significant change that you can anticipate will be the transition from the 100-point scale to the 4-point scale.  We will no longer communicate with percentages.  Even with the transition to the 4 point scale, your student will still receive a semester letter grade for academics for each course.  A student’s score on specific grade-level standards, as well as on the Citizenship and Employability Skills Rubric, will be reported as a 1, 2, 3, or 4.  The general scale is as follows:

Scale Score

Descriptor

4

Exceeding

3

Proficient

2

Developing

1

Beginning

Each score on the 4-point grading scale represents a student’s level of understanding of a specific standard and will allow teachers to give targeted feedback to a student regarding progress to the next performance level.  An example of student feedback might be:  “You have demonstrated understanding of level 3 knowledge.  In order to get to a 4, you need to know and be able to…”

Clear learning goals and clear identification of where students are in relation to those goals will allow us to better meet the needs of all students.

 

Missing & Late Work

Missing work will receive an ‘M’ in Infinite Campus so that you will know if your student has not completed a task.  Homework is considered practice and should be closely aligned to grade level standards.  Failing to participate in practice opportunities will most likely have a negative impact on student performance.  Because it is considered practice, homework will not be part of the academic grade, but it will prepare them for graded tasks.

 

Re-takes

Because learning is the goal, students will be allowed multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency.  Your student may be asked to engage in additional practice (determined by teacher) prior to a re-take.

 

Extra Credit

Extra credit is not given in a standards-referenced grading system.  Increasing a grade will be a result of increased understanding.

 

Thank you for your continued support as we work to improve our system.  We welcome parent input and feedback as we learn and refine our grading practices.  If you have questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact your building administrator. We will provide on-going communication throughout the year as we transition to this new system.

 

Infinite Campus:

One goal of these changes is clearer, more accurate communication with stakeholders.  Changes to Infinite Campus will allow you to access more information regarding student progress than ever before.  Please take a moment to register for the parent portal account.  Please do not use your student’s access code.  In addition, parents and guardians can download an App that allows instant access to your student’s grade book.

 

To register for access to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal:

  1. Contact the office manager at your student’s school
  2. Give the office manager your email address
  3. Wait about 24 hours for an email that will include information such as your username and password

 

To download the Infinite Campus App on your Smartphone:

  1. Search for the Infinite Campus App on your Smartphone and Download
  2. Launch the Campus App
  3. Select Settings
  4. Enter  the District ID: JQZPSD
  5. Enter your Campus Portal Username and Password
  6. Select Log In/Sign In

 

 

For online directions, please visit the following website:  http://grading.dmschools.org/parents.html