Grading Policies

Grading Policy 2020/2021

There is plenty of research that shows people are more likely to complete tasks consistently, or at a regular rate, when there is a schedule other than a fixed interval.  A fixed-interval schedule incentivizes people to work really hard right before a set time for completion has been reached. It basically rewards procrastination. Work, or commitment to work, is thus inconsistent and very low at the beginning of the allotted time, eventually increasing as the deadline looms.  In the classroom setting, this means that students often start slowly and with less commitment to quality work, thinking they can always make it up before the end of a grading period. Why? Psychologists would say this is a learned response to a system that has final grades due at a set time in the distant future.  When this happens, parents worry, students get stressed, and an emphasis on learning gets replaced with “doing work” at the end of the term. To address this issue, I have decided to change from fixed-interval, with grades calculated at the end of a grading period, to a variable interval, where grades will be calculated at 4 randomly determined times during the semester. If you have questions please reach out to me, email is best.

Here is what you can expect:

  1. There will be 4 randomly chosen times in the term where grades will be locked into the grade book (snapshots) and an average of those will determine a student’s final grade.  Each of these snapshots will be worth 25% of your students grade. Once a snapshot has been taken, the grade for that 25% is locked in and a new grading period will begin. Students will not know when the snapshot will be taken (variable interval).

  2. If students/parents feel that a snapshot was taken and it didn’t fairly assess learning, the week after (during office hours only) will be made available for “mastery makeup” where the student can complete a project and communicate learning.

  3. Only excused absences will allow for extended time on assignment completion from one of the snapshots.

  4. Final grades will be based on the average of percentages scored on each assignment as well.

90-100% = A (Excellent)

80-89% =   B (Above Average)

70-79% =   C (Average)

60-69% =   D (Below Average)

0-59% =     Failing

To be clear, this is an effort to incentivize and reward consistent behavior.  I feel that parents and teachers are tired of the last minute, stress-filled, final weeks of a term.  I hope to remove the reward for that behavior so that the emphasis is placed on consistent demonstration of quality work that meets or exceeds the standards.

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