Fowlerville Junior High School Grading & Reporting Policy

FJHS Grading Philosophy & Purposes

Primary Purpose

  • Communicate learning and achievement status to students, parents, and others.

Secondary Purposes

  • Provide information that students can use for self-evaluation and growth
  • Encourage student growth and progress in learning
  • Identify students for available educational opportunities and programming.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of curricular, instructional, and assessment practices and programs.

FJHS Grading Principles (The Big 5)

In an effort to meet our purposes for grading outlined above, we have identified five key principles to effective grading in our school.  These are referred to as “The Big 5”, and represent the five key principles for grading at FJHS.
 
Principle 1 – Grades will be accurate
Principle 2 – Grades will be given consistently among teachers
Principle 3 – Grading will support learning by involving students in the process
Principle 4 – Grades will relate to clearly defined standards
Principle 5 – Grades will be determined by appropriate calculation methods and scales.

 

 

Character Grades

At FJHS we feel that it is critically important to represent student learning and academic achievement and behavior or character as equally important but separate reporting measures.  While students will be given an academic grade, students will also be given Character Grades from each teacher.  These grades will be given on a regular basis for the following areas in the Zangle grade book:

  • Teamwork
  • Work Habits
  • Initiative
  • Respect

Students will be given a score in each of these four areas using one of the following indicators:
 
M = Meets Standard
P = Progressing Towards Standard
N = Not Meeting Standard
 
Students who have been given an “N” mark for 25% or more of their classes in the combined total of grades given in the Character Grades area will be considered ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities including dances, activity nights, band or drama performances, or sporting events.  Character Grades eligibility will function in the same way as academic eligibility and will be run on a weekly basis.

CHARACTER STANDARD

Meets Standard (M)

Progressing Towards Standard (P)

Not Meeting Standard (N)

TEAMWORK

Routinely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion.  Almost always listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others. Tries to keep people working well together and on-task.

Sometimes provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion.  Sometimes listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others.  Is a somewhat passive team member, but contributes to the group when prompted by others.

Rarely provides useful ideas when participating in the group and in classroom discussion.  May refuse to participate.  Rarely listens to, shares with, and supports the efforts of others, and tends to get the group off-task.

WORK HABITS

Completes and submits all assignments on due dates, follows directions all the time,  consistently uses class time wisely,  always brings required materials to class, is organized, and appearance of work is clean and neat.

 

Regularly completes and submits assignments as required with some prompting, usually  follows directions, usually  uses class time wisely, stays on task some of the time,  usually brings materials to class, is somewhat organized, and appearance of work is satisfactory.

Frequently fails to complete and submit assignments as required often fails to pay attention or to follow directions,  does not use class time wisely,  fails to bring required materials to class, is disorganized, and appearance of work is unsatisfactory.

INITIATIVE

Student approaches new learning situations with confidence and enthusiasm, seeks a variety of challenges and takes risks, attempts a wide variety of learning activities independently, and may exhibit leadership for their peers.

 

Student approaches new learning situations with limited confidence, demonstrates a generally positive attitude towards learning, sometimes accepts new challenges but takes only limited risks, attempts a limited variety of learning activities independently, and somewhat reliant on others to guide them.

Student avoids new learning situations and has a negative attitude towards learning, avoids challenges, rarely takes risks, participates only reluctantly with lots of prompting from others, and demonstrates low confidence or motivation for most activities.

RESPECT

Actions in the classroom contribute positively to the learning environment.  The student is generally well mannered towards others, listens to others’ ideas, interests, and opinions, and will help others when needed.

Contributes positively to the learning environment some of the time, acts with courtesy and proper manners some of the time, and helps others if prompted. 

 

Level of respect interferes with learning.  Occasionally uses proper courtesy and manners but often chooses not to.  The student shows little concern for others' ideas, interests, and opinions.

Cheating and Plagiarism

As students progress through junior high school, we will continue to teach them about the importance of academic integrity.  However, sometimes students make a poor decision to cheat or plagiarize another person’s work.  Like most things, it is most effective to prevent this type of behavior by educating students effectively about what plagiarism and cheating are.  The staff at FJHS will ensure that students clearly understand what they are, how they are different, and why it is so dangerous.  However, if a student chooses this path, every teacher at FJHS will process a student discipline referral for students who are cheating or plagiarizing in school. Consequences will be given via the assistant principal, and the student must then redo the assessment/alternate assessment for a grade. Students will also experience a lowered character grade for engaging in this behavior.  This will provide a clear behavioral consequence for all students who engage in these dishonest practices yet still maintains a process that is conducive to providing an accurate academic grade for the student.

Extra Credit

Extra credit takes away from the core academic concepts that are taught as a part of the regular curriculum.  Extra credit is especially harmful when it is awarded for things not tied to the curriculum such as bringing in Kleenex or apples, answering odd trivia questions, or anything not tied to a specific content standard.  Extra credit will be used minimally if at all at FJHS, but if a teacher decides to offer extra credit, it will be meaningful and tied directly to a standard or learning goal in their classroom. Also, if a teacher decides to offer extra credit, it will be offered to all students not just certain individuals.

Grading Weights

Each classroom will have the same grading weights and categories assigned based on consistency for students.  Each grade book will have two categories assigned that factor into the academic grade.  The two categories are described below:

Performance Assessments

(Summative)

Unit and Course/Grade Level
Understanding and Performance

“the bigger stuff”

Major Assessments of Learning
85% of final grade

  • Unit (chapter) assessments
  • Unit or major performance tasks – mainly products, performances, and projects (e.g., essays; artwork; visual representations; models; multimedia; oral presentations; lab experiences; live or recorded performances)
  • District (Course/Grade Level) Assessments

Practice Assessments

(Formative)

Lesson Practice and Activities
“the smaller stuff”

Assessment for Learning
15% of final grade

  • Independent practice on daily work (daily assignments and classroom work)
  • Brief progress checks (e.g., small quizzes over one or more lessons; reviews or warm-ups)

Diverse Performance Assessments

Students will be given multiple ways to show their competence including methods other than paper-pencil tests.  Teachers work very hard to give students the opportunity to show their mastery in a variety of ways including projects, essays, performances, portfolios, laboratory experiments, and a variety of other ways.  The assessments that students are given in a class for the “performance assessment” category will represent a variety of different assessments including but not exclusively paper-pencil tests.

Homework

A comprehensive policy for homework can be found in this section of the FJHS Student Handbook.  For the purposes of this grading policy a few basic principles are in place.

Homework given for “new content” or material that has yet to be taught will not be factored into the academic grade.  Instead a separate category for homework will be established in each teacher grade book for this type of homework so that teachers can show parents if a student has completed the work.
Homework assigned for the completion of an assessment that was started in class that does not cover “new” content could be considered in the “practice” category of a student’s grade.
Performance assessments will not be assigned as homework outside of the teacher’s supervision and instruction.

Re-Testing

Students will be given multiple learning opportunities to show that they have mastered the content for their classes.  Students who feel they have not shown their true knowledge on a test or other assessment may request an opportunity to re-do the assessment with their teacher.  Each teacher will develop a method and procedure for a student re-taking an assessment.  Each procedure will include the following components.

Students are not automatically given a re-take as there are stipulations and a procedure which must be followed for each teacher. Students must “prove” that they deserve a re-take by showing teachers that they will do something different the second time that they take it.  This could include a variety of teacher-created forms or test correction sheets that teachers can use as a part of their regular classroom procedures. Students must take the assessment on the teacher’s time frame.  A teacher could decide to have the re-take completed during class, after-school, during lunch, or with the after-school support paraprofessional.

Zeros and Incomplete Work

The goal of school is to provide a comprehensive education and help students learn successfully.  It has been proven many times over that completion of assigned work is a critical skill to learn for being successful in school as well as the real world.  However, when a student receives a zero for work that was not completed, it adversely affects their academic achievement based on the “behavior” of not completing work.  This takes away from one of our fundamental purposes of grading causing our grades to become inaccurate.

Late Work

Timely work completion is a critical component of a student’s Character Grade, and it is the expectation of all students to complete their work by the due date.  Students who fail to meet deadlines will be required to complete their work in the GLAD (Getting late Assignments Done) room and will a reduced “Work Habits” score which could lead to a variety of ramifications by having lowered Character Grades.  It is the best practice to learn the effective skills of completing work in a timely manner.  Again, this consequence is behavioral and not academic as providing an academic penalty for a student not meeting deadlines would cause the grade to become inaccurate.