Gateway Regional High School

Grading and Testing Practices

Gateway Core Values

Grading Scale

Grade Weighting

Minimum Grades

Minimum Report Card Grades by Marking Period

Major Assessments / Projects

Homework

Examples of Purposeful Homework

Assigning and Assessing of Homework

Missed Assignments/Make Up Work

Re-Taking and/or Re-Doing a Test

Parameters for Retakes


Gateway Core Values

The core values of Gateway Regional High School are summarized by M.O.R.E.. Teaching and learning at Gateway is:

These core values guide the policies and practices related to grading and testing as set forth in this document and board policy.


Grading Scale

A (Excellent) 93-100%

B (Above Avg) 85-92%

C (Average) 73-84%

D (Below Avg) 65-72%

F (Failing) Below 65%

I (Incomplete)

Source: GRHS Board Policy P2624


Grade Weighting

Middle School

CATEGORY

EXAMPLES

VALUE PERCENTAGE

Primary Assessments

Unit Test, Project, Benchmark, Performance, Essay, Lab Report

50%

Secondary Assessments

Quiz, Journals

35%

Support Assessments

Graded Classwork

15%

High School

CATEGORY

EXAMPLES

VALUE PERCENTAGE

Primary Assessments

Unit Test, Project, Benchmark, Performance, Essay, Lab Report

60%

Secondary Assessments

Quiz, Journals

30%

Support Assessments

Graded Classwork

10%

Source: GRHS Board Policy P2624

Number of Grades

Aligning with the educational research in that frequent, authentic assessment enhances student performance, Gateway Regional High School District’s minimum expectation is that students in the five day per week class are assessed on an average of at least once per week, with either a primary, secondary, or supportive assessment. More specifically, the expectation is that three of the assessments be primary in nature. Should there be a circumstance whereby this procedure cannot be implemented in a marking period, the teacher, in collaboration with the Instructional supervisor, can be granted a waiver to this expectation. The teaching staff is, however, encouraged to assess more frequently, as needed.

Source: Faculty Handbook

Notes

Source: GRHS Board Policy R2624


Minimum Grades

Teachers will avoid assigning a “zero” in grading students as part of a 100 point scale on assignments. Research demonstrates that the effects of assigning a zero in a 100 point scale for a grade detrimentally impact a student’s ability to recover from their mistakes.

Minimum Report Card Grades by Marking Period 

Marking Period 1

Marking Period 2

Marking Period 3

Marking Period 4

Middle School

50

50

50

50

High School(Full Year Course)

45

45

40

40

High School (Semester Course)

45 for S1 courses

40 for S1 courses

45 for S2 courses

40 for S2 courses


Major Assessments / Projects

Gateway Regional High School uses common benchmark assessments each marking period to measure student performance in relation to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. This data informs curriculum and instructional decisions in the classroom and for long-range planning. Benchmarks are constructed as part of the backward design curriculum planning process by Gateway teachers and are updated as needed.

Teachers will provide rubrics to students and parents for all major projects to clarify expectations for success.  


Homework

Teachers will consider these guidelines (GRHS Board Policy 2330) when assigning homework

  1. Homework should be a properly planned part of the curriculum, extending and reinforcing the learning experience of the school;
  2. Homework should help children learn by providing practice in the mastery of skills, experience in data gathering and integration of knowledge, and an opportunity to remediate learning problems;
  3. Homework should help develop the pupil's responsibility and provide an opportunity for the exercise of independent work and judgment;
  4. The school should recognize the role of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) by suggesting ways in which parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may assist the school in helping a child carry out assigned responsibilities;
  5. Homework should always serve a valid learning purpose; it should never be used as a punitive measure.
  6. Effective homework accomplishes the following:
  1. Practice: Homework can reinforce skills and concepts already taught in the classroom. This promotes retention of the concept.
  2. Extension: Students use previously taught skills and concepts to apply to a new situation or project.
  3. Integration: Students apply skills learned to produce or prepare of a single project to be assigned in the future

It is also important to note that homework also provides a communication tool between parent, child, and teacher and is one component to keeping families informed of the child’s education.

Source: GRHS Board Policy 2330

Examples of Purposeful Homework

Homework as Practice

  • Practicing of math skills taught in class.
  • Reviewing vocabulary for world language or English class
  • Practicing for a performance or presentation

Homework as Extension

  • Utilizing skills taught in class to create a new product that evaluates a posed problem
  • Consider math word problems
  • Evaluating a political concern in social studies based on information in class.
  • Hypothesizing on a lab based on scientific research
  • Self-editing a piece of writing based on prior mistakes
  • Organizing notes taken in class into a new format.

Homework as Integration

  • Reading assigned material to prepare for a reading check the following day.
  • Completing a study guide to prepare for class discussion or a quiz the following day.

Source: GRHS Board Policy 2330

Gateway Regional High School does not count homework as part of the grading scale. However, we believe homework is vital to successful student performance and should be assigned and incorporated in classwork.

The following guidelines are to be considered by teachers in assigning and assessing homework.

Assigning and Assessing of Homework 

Traditionally graded homework is problematic for a number of reasons, including:

In lieu of traditionally graded homework, teachers may consider the following practices to increase student accountability for completing assignments:

In This Learning Situation.

Instead of This

Try This

So That

A teacher introduces new material in class.

Assigning a question set so students will remember the material.

Ask students to think up a homework task that follows up on this material and to explain their choices.

Provide students with a set of practice questions related to the topic and suggest that students work to deepen their understanding in advance of an in-class quiz

During the following class, students share their tasks in small groups or partners. Students may swap tasks to complete as classwork.

Assign students a short quiz with questions from (or related to) the practice set. This quiz may be a formative or a summative assessment. You may allow students to correct errors.

A teacher wants students to read an article before a class discussion.

Making students answer questions that prove they read it.

Ask students to write down two or three questions they have after reading the article.

Incorporate these questions into the graded class discussion.

Teachers want to see whether students understand a key concept (such as literary irony).

Making students complete a worksheet.

Ask students to brainstorm ways to demonstrate the concept for the class, using any medium.

In small groups during class, students demonstrate the concept and provide written feedback to one another.

Teachers want students to see how a math procedure applies in various situations.

Assigning 10 word problems that involve this procedure.

Ask students to create one word problem that applies this procedure in a real-world situation.

Ask small groups to share their problems with a partner. Students then swap problems and solve it as a warm-up or classwork activity.

Teachers want students to memorize facts (such as dates in history).

Handing out a list that students will be tested on.

Ask each student to create and share with the class a memorization trick (such as a visual cue) that works with one item on this list.

Have students share their memorization trick with the class (live or electronically). Quiz students on the facts.

Teachers use time in class for direction instruction.

Use homework as the opportunity for practice and application.

Flip the direction instruction and provide students with videos of direct instruction (teacher created or outside sourced).

Class time can be used for practice and application with teacher support.  

AtomicLearning.Com Flipped Learning Training for Teachers

For more ideas, see the following:

Source: Adapted from Cushman, 2010

Research Regarding Homework Best Practices

Source: Center for Public Education, 2007.


Missed Assignments/Make Up Work 

Students will be given a minimum one (1) day make up for each day absent except in extended verified absences approaching ten (10) days.  For example, a student who is absent on Tuesday should have all make

up work completed by Thursday.

If a student misses an assignment, a grade of a one (1) will be placed next to the assignment in Powerschool.  This is a placeholder for parents, students, and staff to signal that an assignment has not been turned in.

Interventions to encourage students to complete missed work would include:

Source: GRHS Board Policy R2624 


Re-Taking and/or Re-Doing a Test

Gateway Regional School District permits students to re-take or re-do primary assessments.  

Parameters for Retakes

  1.  Students are permitted to retake/revise primary or benchmark assessments before the next upcoming primary assessment is given.
  2. If a student seeks to improve his or her learning, the student should retake the assessment.  Providing extra credit may be an option at the discretion of the teacher. Extra credit must be linked to standards and learning.
  3. When a student retakes an assessment, the highest grade earned replaces the lowest grade.
  4. In order to be eligible for a retake, the student must complete one or all of the following (depending on the course)
  1. Completion of the homework leading up to the assessment.
  2. Staying after for help for the instructor to re-teach missed information.
  3. Working with the teacher to ensure passed errors on quizzes or classwork are remedied and grasped.
  4. Completing or correcting study guides.

Source: GRHS Board Policy R2624