AHS English DepartmentDept. Chair - Donna Pauley
Secondary Grading Policy
SB 2033, passed by the 81st Texas Legislature, required each school district to adopt a grading policy, including provisions for the assignment of grades on class assignments and examinations.
Alvin ISD EIA (Local)
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that each campus or instructional level develops guidelines for teachers to follow in determining grades for students. These guidelines shall ensure that grading reflects a student’s relative mastery of an assignment and that a sufficient number of grades are taken to support the grade average assigned. Guidelines for grading shall be clearly communicated to students and parents.
In accordance with grading guidelines as addressed in this document, a student shall be permitted a reasonable opportunity to redo an assignment or retake a test when a significant percentage of students receive a failing grade on the assignment.
Grading Roles and Responsibilities
1. Complete assignments on time and return them to the teacher.
2. Set up a schedule to complete long term assignments on time.
3. Initiate communication with the instructor when experiencing difficulty.
4. Complete all assignments within the time limits given by the teacher.
5. Maintain academic integrity and honesty.
6. Evaluate his/her own work for accuracy and seek clarification if needed.
1. Establish a specific time, place and manner for homework to be completed.
2. Provide the necessary supplies and resources for assignments to be completed.
3. Monitor student’s progress on assignments allowing completion.
4. Assist student in planning and scheduling long term assignments.
5. Initiate communication with the teacher when concerns arise.
1. Provide meaningful assignments that reinforce classroom learning and provide meaningful practice towards mastery of the Texas Essentials Knowledge and Skills.
2. Create or use assessments that accurately assess the student’s mastery of the skills and concepts taught.
3. Provide daily content and language lesson objectives and activities for each class.
4. Keep a confidential detailed record of the student’s performance that can be accessed electronically by the parents throughout the semester.
5. Grade and record assignments and assessments in a timely manner to provide the student and parent feedback on the student’s progress in the class.
6. Follow the AISD grading and reporting timelines/procedures, and seek assistance for clarification from campus or district support services.
7. Provide students with a rubric for long term projects or alternative assignments before the assignment is due.
8. Inform students of content covered on all major assessments.
9. Be available to students during designated tutorial times or by agreed appointment arranged by the student or parent.
Mastery of course objectives may be assessed in a variety of ways. It is not necessary for all grades to be comprised of written paper work, nor is it always necessary to receive a grade for every paper produced. Although the teacher should monitor and provide feedback to students for activities and assignments, the feedback does not have to be in the form of a single grade. Assessment should follow a period of guided practice and/or independent practice. In grading a group project, members of a group should not be penalized for an individual that does not participate in the project. Conversely, a student who does not fully participate will receive a grade reflective of his/her participation. Performance assessments are measures of a student’s progress toward the mastery of course objectives that may be assessed but are not produced on a written document. There are many types of performance assessments that may include:
classroom participation classroom discussions
oral responses teacher observations
experiments independent or group reading
enrichment checklists of skills
group work or projects portfolios
research projects written responses
The grade a student receives on any assignment will reflect an accurate assessment of the student’s performance on the assessment. A teacher may adjust grades in the class to reflect more accurately the student’s understanding of the material.
Tests and examinations are used to determine and evaluate a student’s mastery of the TEKS and district objectives. Major tests or examinations and curriculum based assessments (CBA) are chapter, unit, concept or cumulative assessments given at various times such as weekly, three, six, or nine weeks, or semester.
Alternative assessments will reflect real world tasks and relate to instructional objectives. This type of assessment often requires analyzing a task, developing a plan of action, gathering information, selecting of relevant information, and presenting the information. The presentation will be designed by the instructor and based on the subject and content objectives. Alternative assessments may be substituted for major tests. Instructors will provide a rubric for alternative assessments.
Special Projects/Research Papers/Long Term Projects
Research papers or projects are lengthy class and/or homework assignments that may take several weeks to complete. These projects and research papers must be included in the course syllabus and the due date must be stated in the syllabus. Projects may be assigned individually or to a group of students. The instructor will provide a rubric to the student that explains how the project or paper will be assessed. Special projects, research papers, or other long term assignments are due on or before the due date stated in the syllabus. Students who are absent on the due date, including school business absences, must meet the stated deadline. Any exceptions for the late projects must be approved by the principal or the principal’s designee.
Daily Grades/ Quizzes
Daily grades consist of any instructional activity defined or planned by the teacher to be completed during the class period or continued as homework to facilitate the learning process. Homework can be a necessary part of the instructional process that may or may not begin in the classroom and extend into time outside of the regular class time.
Quizzes or short assessments to evaluate a student’s level of understanding and progress toward instructional objectives may also be considered daily grades. Quizzes do not have to be scheduled in advance.
Extra Credit Points
All extra credit is to be academic and may be offered at the discretion of the teacher. If extra credit is offered, it must be offered to all students in the class, regardless of their grade. However, a maximum grade of 100 will be given to any one assignment.
Students who transfer into the district will demonstrate mastery of course content through district developed assessments over previously taught materials. Teachers may accept transfer grades if they feel they are an accurate representation of the material previously covered in the class. Teachers may also provide additional assignments that are relevant in preparing the student for cumulative assessment over material previously covered.
Performance-based courses have assignments that differ significantly from other academic courses. Performance-based courses may include courses in Fine Arts, Physical Education, Career and Technology, Foreign Language and Athletics. Teachers in performance-based courses will work to ensure their grading system reflects mastery of the TEKS and measures the student’s performance. In these courses a higher percentage of the student’s grade may come from participation and events associated with the course.
Minimum Number of Grades
· Teachers are encouraged to provide a sufficient number of grades to allow multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate mastery of the TEKS.
· Teachers are required to take a minimum of one grade per week beginning the first week of each grading period.
· In addition, teachers must take a minimum of three (3) Major Grades per nine-week grading period (this includes the nine-week test/assessment).
· No single grade may count for more than 20% of the semester grade.
· Science teachers must take a minimum of (3) Lab grades per nine-week grading period
The assignment is considered late if it is not turned in at the time it is due. Unless stated otherwise in department procedures, all late work will receive a grade penalty.
The table below reflects the maximum percentage of the possible grade the student is to receive in a regular class for late assignments.
Junior High School High School
One day 90 % 85%
Two Days 80% 70%
Three days 70% no credit
Four days no credit no credit
Advanced placement (AP) and pre-AP courses for high school credit will accept late work only during the first nine weeks of the course. Pre AP courses in junior high school that are not for high school credit will accept late work through the end of the first semester. All courses will follow the late work penalties stated above.
For an absence in any class, the teacher may assign the student makeup work. This work will be based on instructional objectives for the subject or course, needs of the individual students in mastering the essential knowledge and skills, or course requirements.
A student will be responsible for obtaining and completing the makeup work in a satisfactory manner and within the time specified by the teacher. [EIAB (Local)]
A student who does not make up assigned work within the time allotted by the teacher will receive a grade of zero for the assignment.
A student will be permitted to make up tests and turn in assignments due in any class missed because of absence in accordance with department and campus guidelines. Teachers may assign a late penalty or not accept a long-term project or term paper in accordance with time lines approved by the principal and previously communicated to students.
A note signed by the parent/guardian showing the dates and reason for the absence is to be submitted within three days after the student returns to class. If this note is not sent within the allocated three days, the absence will be unexcused. A student with an unexcused absence may make up all work missed for full credit according to make-up work guidelines. However, a student found to be truant (a student who stays away from class or school without permission) will receive no credit for an assignment that is missed or turned in.
A student suspended from his/her regular classes is to request makeup work during the suspension or immediately when he/she returns to school. This work will be graded according to the make-up work guidelines.
The purpose of a tutorial session is to provide individual or group instruction to assist students who have not mastered the TEKS currently being taught. Tutorials also serve as an instructional reinforcement for students needing assistance. All students are welcomed and encouraged to attend tutorial sessions; however, students who have not mastered the TEKS (or currently failing) should be given priority during scheduled tutorial times.
· Each teacher must offer at least two tutorial sessions per week for the purpose of providing assistance to students.
· Day and time of scheduled tutorials will be set by each campus. Some campuses may have mandatory tutorials within the school day.
· Attendance at tutorials outside of the regular school day is voluntary and is not limited to those students having academic difficulty.
· Teachers must be available to students during scheduled tutorial time or by appointment.
· Teachers must keep a log of students attending tutorials.
Re-teach and Retest/Reassessment for Mastery
Mastery of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
Alvin ISD provides a well-balanced curriculum on state prescribed Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Students who participate in this curriculum will have the opportunity to master the knowledge, skills and competencies established by the district curriculum and state standards.
Alvin ISD will utilize ongoing mastery assessment to determine which students are in need of remediation (re-teaching and acceleration). The use of benchmark tests, teacher-made tests, performance assessments, and teacher observations will help determine which students are not mastering instructional objectives.
· If 25% (50% for AP courses) or more of the students in a single preparation per teacher do not demonstrate mastery of the TEKS on a classroom assignment or test, the teacher will provide the opportunity for re-teaching. These opportunities may be provided outside of class time using different methods of instruction.
· Students with three or more zeros on assignments over the assessed material may be excluded from the calculation of the 25% (50% for AP courses). Extenuating circumstances may be taken into consideration.
Required Retest/Reassess for Mastery
· 25% (50% for AP) or more of the students who do not demonstrate mastery are re-evaluated after they are re-taught or after additional activities are provided. Re-evaluation may include, but is not limited to, oral examination, special assignment sheets, special homework assignments, or a formal test.
· A student must score at least 70% on the re-evaluation to demonstrate mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). A grade of 70 is the maximum that can be earned on the re-evaluation and is recorded to designate mastery. If the student fails to demonstrate mastery on the re-evaluation of the TEKS, the higher of the two grades is recorded.
Other Opportunities for Reteach and Retest/Reassess
· If less than 25% (50% for AP courses) of all the students in a single preparation per teacher do not demonstrate mastery, the teacher is not obligated to re-teach and retest during class time. Tutorial time may be used for re-teaching.
· An individual student can ask for the opportunity for re-teaching and retesting. The request for retesting should be made within one week after the test/assignment has been returned.
Re-assessment will not be permitted for major projects in which an extended period of time has been provided to complete the assignment.
Calculation of Nine week Averages
Weight of Grades
All nine week averages will be calculated on a percentage system for each category of assignment in accordance with department policy. No single grade given throughout the nine week period may count for more than 25% of the nine week average regardless of the grade category. It should be noted that some major projects are comprised of more than one assignment. The average of all major and daily grades may not exceed 100%.
Major grades count 50%
Daily/Homework/Quizzes count 50% .
Extra credit will not account for more than 5% of the nine week average.
A student receiving an incomplete for a grading period and/or a zero for a missed semester exam will have two weeks to convert the incomplete to an earned grade at which time the incomplete will be changed to the actual grade earned.
The teacher must communicate to the student the nature of the outstanding work. Under unusual circumstances the time permitted to make up the incomplete grade may be extended with administrative approval.
Exams will be given at the end of each semester at times designated by the campus administration. The state End-of-Course assessment may serve as a replacement grade for the final exam in those courses designated by the state and will be given in accordance with state testing guidelines. Those courses requiring the state End-of-Course assessment are: Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II, and U.S. History. Courses not offering an End-of-Course state assessment will use a teacher developed exam.
Calculation of Semester Grade in EOC Classes
The state EOC may be substituted as the final exam in Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II, U.S. History.
Substituting the EOC assessment for the final exam is contingent upon:
· The EOC scores being received prior to the administration of the final exam.
· The student having a passing grade for the semester.
· The students passing the EOC.
· The student’s choice to do so.
The End of Course assessments will be given in accordance with state testing guidelines