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Grading Guidelines

2009-2010 Sumter County Schools’ Guidelines for Grading to Support Learning and to Encourage Success

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2009-2010 Sumter County Schools' Guidelines for Grading to Support Learning and to Encourage Success

Document Updated August 27, 2009


Purpose: SCS' is committed to maintaining rigorous performance and achievement standards for all students and to providing a fair process for evaluating and reporting student progress that is understandable to students and their parents and relevant for instructional purposes.



Grades are an essential way to communicate student progress. As such, grading and reporting practices must include the following:

•·         Meaningful feedback on student achievement to students, parents, teachers, administrators and the school system. This feedback should provide relevant information for instructional purposes

•·         Alignment with the Sumter County Schools curriculum

•·         Consistency within and among schools

•·         Accurate reflection of student achievement compared to grade level or course expectations outline in the curriculum as demonstrated on assessments and teacher designed tasks

•·         Fair representation of a student's performance on a  variety of measures over time

•·         Clear and timely communication to parents and students as to the grading criteria and the components

•·         Commitment to school attendance as an essential component of a quality learning experience

•·         Summative assessments, which may include final exams, end of unit tests, and cumulative projects, as reflections of a student's mastery of grade level or course material

•·         Opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery of grade level or course expectations outlined in the curriculum through a variety of methods

•·         Regular and frequent information to all students and parents about the student's progress

•·         Consistently high expectations of all students across all courses and programs


Grades should reflect a student's progress toward mastery of elements and standards for a grade level or course. Grades should be determined to ensure that the grade each student receives is a fair reflection of his or her performance.


Teachers should discuss assessment with students at the beginning of instruction. Teachers should provide a written overview of the standards for which students are expected to demonstrate mastery during the first week of classes in each course or grade.


Teachers will maintain accurate and precise records that support informally and formally reported achievement.


The Sumter County Schools Board of Education Policy for Grading:

A = 90-100

B= 80-89

C = 70-79

F = Below 70      *70 is the minimum passing score


When calculating marking period and final examination grades, teachers will round up when a percentage yields a decimal of five tenths or more.



The Progress Scale will be used for grades K-2, K-8 Physical Education, Music, Art, Connections, and Process-related GPS (i.e. writing process, scientific processes)

X=Exceeds Standard ~ achieves beyond requirements of the standard consistently and independently (consistently 95-100)

M=Meets Standard ~ achieves the standard consistently and independently (consistently 80-94)

*Note all students should meet all grade level standards by the end of the year

P=Progressing ~ progressing toward achievement of the standard (consistently 70-85)

E=Emerging ~ limited or minimum progress toward achievement of the standard (consistently below 70-75)

N=Not Yet Assessed

NA=Not Assessed



Effort, participation, attitude, and other behaviors will not be included in grades. They may be reported separately unless they are stated part of a learning goal.

Effort  ~ task completion; participation; feedback

Behavior ~ cooperation or teamwork; rules and procedures

Effort and Participation Scale:

O = Often

S = Sometimes

R = Rarely

NI = Not Enough Information



•·         Students will be given make-up opportunities for all missed summative assessments (marked work that will be part of student grades) without penalty.


Late Work:

•·         Teachers may set due dates and deadlines for all marked work that will be part of a student grade.

•·         Work handed in late if penalized will not exceed 2% per day to a maximum of 10%.

•·         Teachers may exempt students from penalties.

•·         Care should be taken to ensure penalties (if used) do not distort achievement or motivation.

Incomplete Work:

•·         Work that is not submitted will be identified as ‘I' (Incomplete). Students are expected to complete all required work and will be given opportunities to do so.

•·         In determining grades, teachers must decide whether there is sufficient evidence of achievement. If not, the grade recorded shall be an ‘I' for Incomplete~Insufficient Evidence. 

•·         Where credits are involved, an ‘I' means no credit until the missing work is completed and the grade is updated.

•·         A teacher may change an incomplete grade to the appropriate grade whenever the student finishes the required work, provided it is finished and the appropriate grade is recorded within ten (10) calendar days of the end of the semester. For extracurricular eligibility purposes, the grade is considered a failing grade until the final grade is recorded in the student's record. At the end of the next semester, if the work has not been made up, the ‘I' will be

•·         changed to the appropriate earned average for the student.



•·         Teachers will only assign homework that is related to the curriculum.

•·          Teachers will provide feedback on homework that is assigned to practice new skills. Feedback can be given in writing or by talking with students individually or in groups.

•·          Homework for practice is not part of the academic grade (timed math drills, independent reading, letter formation). Homework evaluated for learning may be included as part of the academic grade; no more than ten percent of the marking period grade.



•·         The following assessments /tasks that indicate the FINAL measure of learning may not be reassessed: EOCT and semester exams; assessments that end an instruction unit or period of study;  final research papers, reports or essays; culminating projects or performances

•·         Reteaching should occur when teachers or students determine that students are not meeting learning goals.

•·         Teachers should identify reassessment opportunities before the original task/assessment is performed within an instructional unit.

•·         Reassessment opportunities will be offered in every course.

•·         When reassessment is offered, all students may be reassessed, regardless of grade on original task/assessment if they meet the following requirements: completed the original task or assessment, completed required assignments, and completed reteaching/relearning activities as determined by the teacher.

•·         When student work is reassessed, all students may be reassessed partially, entirely, or in a different format, as determined by the teacher (allows for specific elements within standards to be targeted).

•·         Where repetitive measures are made of the same or similar knowledge, skills or behaviors, the more recent mark or marks should replace the previous/original mark for any such multiple opportunities.