Grades, Promotion and Placement Policies


Grading is considered a positive tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject in which a student is enrolled. The Board of Education recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades.

The district shall use a uniform grading system. Classroom teachers shall evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system.
Grading shall be based upon student improvement, achievement, and participation in classroom discussions and activities.

Parents/guardians shall receive an appropriate written report of student progress at regular intervals. The use of marks and symbols will be appropriately explained.

Report cards shall be used as a standard vehicle for the periodic reporting of student progress and appropriate school related data. Report cards, however, are not intended to exclude other means of reporting progress, such as interim reports, conferences, phone conversations, etc.

When necessary, attempts will be made to provide interpreters for non-English speaking parents/guardians. Grading shall not be used for disciplinary purposes, i.e., reducing grade for an unexcused absence, although a lower grade can be given for failure to complete assigned work or for lack of class participation.

All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed. Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit. If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work. The student and/or the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) should discuss with the
student’s teacher an appropriate means of making up the missed work. With the possible exception of absences intended by the student as a means of gaining an unfair academic advantage (e.g., to secure more time to study for a test), every effort will be made to provide students with the opportunity and assistance to make up all work missed as a result of absence from class.

The professional judgment of the teacher shall be respected. Once a grade is assigned to a student by a teacher, the grade may only be changed by a district administrator after notification to the teacher of the reason for such change. Should an administrator enforce a grade change, he/she shall be prepared to report to the Superintendent of Schools and/or the Board.


It is essential that each child experience both challenge and success from school activities. To this end, the district will make every effort to place each student in the most appropriate learning level for a successful educational experience.

District curriculum guides indicate goals for achievement by the “average” student at each grade level. However, academic growth, like physical growth, does not take place at the same pace or time for all individuals. Certain students may achieve mastery in a shorter period, while others need additional time. Early identification and intervention, promotion and retention are methods of meeting the needs of such children.

The following guidelines shall govern student progression:

Early Identification/Intervention

Classroom teachers are expected to make every effort to identify early those students at risk of failing.  The Building Principal  and the parents/guardian must be notified promptly if retention is anticipated, and a special support program shall be designed for each child identified as in danger of failing. Such support services may include, but are not limited to,
individualized assistance before, during or after the school day; remedial classes; a change in instructional treatment, and,
where appropriate, referral to the Committee on Special Education for evaluation.


Elementary schools

At the elementary level, students who pass all subjects will be promoted. Students who do not make satisfactory progress in one or more basic subjects – English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science –
shall have their cases considered on an individual basis and may be retained. Retention shall be limited to those situations where the best interest of the child is reasonably assured. Diligent effort shall be made to use all available resources to determine the child’s appropriate placement.

Middle schools

Students who fail only one subject shall have the failure evaluated and a determination made as to the reason for the failure. The student may be required to repeat the subject, but in typical cases shall be promoted with
recommendation for either summer school or assignment to a lower academic ability group. The decision shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving teacher, Principal and guidance counselor. Students who fail two subjects shall have their cases considered on an individual basis through a case conference approach described above.
Students who fail more than two subjects shall fail for the year.

Senior High School

In general, promotion from one class to the next shall be contingent upon the passing of all required subjects and the accumulation of 4 or 5 units of credit at each level.

Academic standards

Building Principals shall be responsible for ensuring that written standards for student progress at each grade level are available to parents and others upon request. Such academic standards are to be forwarded to the
Superintendent of Schools each year.


A decision to retain shall be arrived at by consensus from a case conference approach involving the teacher, Building Principal, school psychologist, and parent/guardian. Factors to be considered include teacher recommendation;
classroom achievement and attitude; standardized test scores; social and emotional development; results of the family conference; and, for identified students, recommendations by the Committee on Special Education. If a consensus cannot be reached, the decision of the Building Principal shall be final. No student will be retained without an appropriate educational plan defining what will occur that is instructionally different for the student. Once the educational plan has been implemented, the student will be monitored regularly. The educational plan will be revised until the student demonstrates acceptable performance.

Acceleration and Advanced Placement: Policy 4751

Eighth Grade Acceleration for Diploma Credits

Individual eighth grade students only may be afforded the opportunity to take high school courses in mathematics and in at the least one of the following areas: English, social studies, languages other than English, art, music, career and technical education subjects, or science courses. The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee is responsible for determining that an eighth
grade student is eligible to take high school courses. The district shall utilize a set of criteria to determine each student’s readiness for acceleration. Students who are accelerated for diploma credit must have been provided instruction designed to facilitate their attainment of, by the end of Grade 7, the State intermediate learning standards in each subject area in which they
are accelerated.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) examinations are administered by the College Board with strict guidelines as to its implementation. A national, standardized, arduous examination is administered by the College Board in May of each year for a great variety of courses in various subject areas. In addition to entering a universe of knowledge that might otherwise remain unexplored in high
school, Advance Placement examinations afford students the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing in most of the nation’s colleges and universities. The district shall utilize a set of criteria to determine a student’s readiness for enrollment in the Advance Placement classes.