Grading and Assessment Practices
At Providence, we believe that the purpose of grading is to accurately communicate to students and parents the level of mastery students have achieved in their learning. Working together with grade level teams and campus specialists, teachers have identified essential learning standards based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Teachers use a variety of formal and informal assessment methods to measure student learning.
Formative assessments are given to check student progress during the instructional process. These are used to plan Team Time intervention to help students who have not yet mastered their learning targets. Summative assessments are given after the instructional cycle to determine if students have mastered the knowledge and skills that are taught. Summative assessments are those that are used for grades.
Because we want our grades to communicate accurate and meaningful measures of student learning, we have adopted these grading practices at Providence:
1. We do not give grades in the gradebook for homework. The purpose of homework is to give students the opportunity to practice what they are learning in class. Teachers monitor homework carefully and use it to give important feedback to students and parents. Because homework is vital to learning, students are required to do this work. However, since homework is practice and not a measure of final student mastery, it will not be counted as a grade.
2. Students will not receive zeroes for missing or incomplete work. Traditionally, zeroes have been given to punish students for not completing required work or for cheating. Although these are behaviors that must be taken seriously by teachers and addressed appropriately, they do not necessarily reflect student learning. When students do not turn in work or are academically dishonest, they will be reassessed to accurately measure what they have learned.
3. We do not include student behaviors in grades; we only include achievement. Grades should only reflect student performance in mastering learning goals. Therefore, we will not give grades for participation or effort. Parents can be confident that all grades reflect what a student has actually learned, not how they are behaving in class. Student behaviors will be communicated to parents separately by teachers.
4. All grading will be purposeful. Grades are meant to communicate knowledge and skills a student has learned. Because of this, extra credit will not be given on assignments. Similarly, points will not be taken off when work is submitted late, and grades will not be lowered when students fail to put their names on assignments. When students turn in work late or engage in academic dishonesty, they will face appropriate behavioral consequences.
5. Teachers will give frequent feedback to parents concerning their child's academic progress. Report cards will not be only time parents receive feedback about their children's learning. Through the use of progress reports, meaningful grades posted on the Home Access Center, and work samples sent home, teachers will keep parents informed and share with them ways they can help their child at home. Likewise, parents are encouraged to contact teachers with questions or concerns about their children's academic performance.