Fourth quarter grading policy explained

The COVID-19 pandemic caused school buildings to close in mid-March and instruction to shift to a remote learning environment.

The Tri-Valley School District is dedicated to preparing students for college, and work beyond school and is committed to ensuring the best possible learning opportunities. It is our deeply held commitment that our students’ learning trajectories will not suffer during this pandemic crisis. We also believe that each student must be a committed participant in the new learning environment and is accountable in this process.

In developing a grading system for the 2019-20 Fourth Quarter, we wanted to be as fair and generous as we could to our students, assuming their commitment to doing their best possible work. Student participation and effort are crucial components to creating an effective grading system.

To this end, the Tri-Valley Grading Model features innovative scoring through a blended approach to evaluating student learning progress using student work done before the closure, work done after the closure and teacher and administrative discretion.

PreK-Grade 3 Grading Model

Students will be assessed similarly to how they were assessed in the first three quarters.  Students will receive overall assessment ratings of Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Below Expectations and Well Below Expectations. Any student that has not turned in work or participated in online instruction will automatically receive an assessment of Well Below Expectations.

Here’s what the assessments mean:

  • Exceeds Expectations: Student was an active and engaged participant in the new learning model. Assignments were completed with care and effort. Student has made expected progress and achieved anticipated learning standards.
  • Meets Expectations: Student, for the most part, was active and engaged in the new learning model, although some gaps in participation were evident. Work was completed and care and effort were evident, with some gaps. Student has made minimal expected progress to achieving anticipated learning standards.
  • Below Expectations: Student was partially active and engaged with significant gaps evident. Work was completed irregularly and did not represent maximum effort on the student’s part. Student made far less progress than anticipated regarding achievement of expected learning goals. An improvement in effort and engagement is needed. Additional remediation will be necessary for success in the 20-21 school year.
  • Well Below Expectations: Student was not engaged and rarely, if ever, participated in the new learning model. Work was rarely completed, or not at all, and when completed reflected little or no effort or care. Significant additional remediation will be required in the 20-21 school year to address gaps that have developed because of lack of participation on the student’s part.

Interventions

Intervention efforts in the 2020-21 school year may include:

  • Academic Intervention Services
  • Mandatory participation in after-school program
  • Additional tutoring
  • Alternative class placements for extra support

Grade 4-12 Grading Model

Students will receive a fourth quarter grade and a final yearly grade. The fourth quarter grade will be based on the work turned in by the student during the closure, as well as teacher discretion. If the grade a student receives for the fourth quarter represents a significant decrease or increase in a grade, the principal will discuss with the teacher why the grade has significantly improved or regressed. That fourth quarter grade will then be averaged with the other three quarter grades to achieve a final grade for the year.

There will be no final exams or projects required of students this year with the exception of those required by colleges for our college classes.

Because we believe that the work done in the first three quarters of the year more accurately represents a student’s ability than the work done in the fourth quarter, weighting to each quarter will be assessed as follows:

  • First Quarter: 30 percent
  • Second Quarter: 30 percent
  • Third Quarter: 25 percent
  • Fourth Quarter: 15 percent

For semester (half year) courses, grading will occur as determined above but the weighting will be as follows:

  • Third Quarter: 50 percent
  • Fourth Quarter: 50 percent

Teachers and administrators will have discretion when assessing students on a number of indicators, including:

  • Did the student have internet access?
  • If the student had access, did they participate regularly in lessons and office hours?
  • If the student did not have internet access, did they turn work in when necessary?
  • Did the student’s work (in any scenario) represent the level of work done prior to the closure?
  • Other mitigating circumstances (death in the family, mandated relocation, etc.)