Questions and Answers
What is the purpose of the new grading system?
The main purpose of the new grading system is that students are responsible for their own learning, and they will continue to relearn content until they have mastered it.
How does the new grading system work?
The new system requires a nine-week grading period to allow teachers more time for feedback and accurate assessments. This will:
How was the grading system initiated?
- Hold the students accountable for learning the curriculum tied to standards
- Provide “value learning” over earning numerical points and not allow students to “take a grade” when learning has not occurred
- Recognize that feedback is a valuable tool to increase learning
- Understand that errors are part of the learning process
- Allow students to take personal ownership of their own learning
For the past two years, Denton ISD’s Academic Leadership Team has researched grading practices that fall in line with the district’s goals. The team gathered input from international educational experts, local administrators, as well as district teachers and parents.
The end result was a grading system developed by the ALT that ensures parents and students can understand if students are learning and master the content, while not penalizing the students for behavioral issues.
How does this grading system help students?
The new system gives students more access to teachers and allow the teachers to provide them with more feedback, helping them acquire a better understanding of what content they have mastered and what content they need to put more work toward mastering. During this process, teachers and staff will work with students to develop behaviors that the community values and will help them be successful in life.
Why is there no longer a grade reduction for late work?
The system’s goal is to measure what a student knows and understands. While meeting deadlines and turning in assignments on time is a desirable behavior, it does not determine whether or not a student knows the content.
Why are students allowed to retake tests/exams and get full value on these reassessments?
A student’s grade should reflect his/her mastery of the content. Allowing students to retake an exam or test, lets students reflect on what they have learned and demonstrate their increase in knowledge of the content covered.
All end-of-semester exams are final and will not fall under the same standards as course work issued during the 9-week grading periods. Semester exams are, by design, reassessments and the grades earned reflect a cumulative mastery of the content standards.
Are students able to retake any exam or test whenever they want?
No, any tests or exams that students try to retake must be completed during the nine-week grading period. Additionally, retests will only be allowed once the student has worked with the teacher to prove that new learning has taken place and that they have a better understanding of that content.
How does a student earn the opportunity to retake an exam or test?
Students can qualify for the opportunity to retake a test or exam by demonstrating that new learning has occurred and that they have a better understanding of that content. Examples of this process include but are not limited to:
Why are zeroes no longer being used to indicate missing/incomplete work?
- Attending tutorial sessions
- Completing new work or previously assigned work
- Discussing with the teacher the necessary improvements to achieve content mastery
Zeroes indicate that no content mastery has been achieved. Using zeroes for missing or incomplete work gives an inaccurate reflection of a student’s knowledge or improvement toward mastery of content.