Gateway Regional High School

Grading and Testing Practices

Gateway Core Values

Grading Scale

Grade Weighting

Grading Policies

Minimum Grades

Minimum Report Card Grades by Marking Period

Benchmark Assessments and Final Exams

Major Projects

Homework

Examples of Purposeful Homework

Assigning and Assessing of Homework

Alternatives to Traditional 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%                                        D (Below Avg) 65-72%

B (Above Avg) 85-92%                                        F (Failing) Below 65%

C (Average) 73-84%                                        I (Incomplete)

Source: GRHS Board Policy P2624


Grade Weighting

Middle School

CATEGORY

EXAMPLES

VALUE PERCENTAGE

Primary Assessments

Major demonstrations of mastery of the content, encompassing learning over time or of multiple standards/skills; such as a unit test, project, benchmark, performance, essay, or lab report

50%

Secondary Assessments

Demonstrations of mastery over limited amounts of content, encompassing learning over a class or few classes or limited numbers of standards/skills; such as a quiz, or a journal entry

35%

Support Assessments

Practice toward mastery of content; such as graded classwork and homework

15%

High School

CATEGORY

EXAMPLES

VALUE PERCENTAGE

Primary Assessments

Major demonstrations of mastery of the content, encompassing learning over time or of multiple standards/skills; such as a unit test, project, benchmark, performance, essay, or lab report

60%

Secondary Assessments

Demonstrations of mastery over limited amounts of content, encompassing learning over a class or few classes or limited numbers of standards/skills; such as a quiz, or a journal entry

30%

Support Assessments

Practice toward mastery of content; such as graded classwork and homework

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


Grading Policies

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/ Semester Course)

45

45

45

45


Benchmark Assessments and Final Exams

Gateway Regional High School uses common benchmark assessments for marking periods 1, 2, and 3 and a final exam at marking period 4 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.

Final exams will be run during a final exam schedule and may be cumulative at the discretion of the teacher. Middle School final exams will be presented as a culminating project or portfolio in lieu of a multiple-choice assessment. High School teachers are encouraged to utilize a cumulative performance or project in lieu of a paper and pencil final exam.

Retakes are not permitted for benchmark or final exams. Students may complete test corrections during tutorials or another time assigned by the teacher if the teacher is present for corrections. Test corrections for benchmark may not be removed from the classroom in order to protect the integrity of the test questions. No test corrections or retakes will be allowed for final exams.  


Major Projects

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 believes 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 

Source: GRHS Board Policy 2330


Homework Checklist for Teachers 

Teachers should be able to answer affirmatively the following questions about a homework assignment.
1.        Does the homework serve a valid purpose?
2.        Is it well within the capacities of the student?
3.        Has the class been thoughtfully motivated for the work?
4.        Does the assignment grow out of school experience?
5.        Is the work related to student’s interests? Is it interesting?
6.        Does the assignment extend students’ fund of information?
7.        Is the work adapted to individual needs, interests, and capacities?

8.        Are students entirely clear about what they are to do?
9.        Can the students do the work without the assistance of parent(s) or legal guardian(s) or others?
10.        Is the assignment a reasonable one and evenly scheduled in view of the student’s home conditions?
11.        Does the assignment minimize the temptation merely to copy information?
12.        Can the homework be evaluated fairly and/or be used in the daily program?

Source: GRHS Board Policy 2330


Alternatives to Traditional Homework

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


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 assessments within 1 week of receiving a grade on the original assessment and before the next upcoming primary assessment is given.
  1. Students may not retake a benchmark assessment; instead, students may complete test corrections during tutorials or another time when the teacher is present. Benchmark assessments may not be taken home for test corrections to preserve the integrity of questions.
  2. In lieu of retaking an assessment, the teacher may assign test corrections to be completed during tutorials or another time when the teacher is present.
  3. Retakes must be completed prior to the last week in a marking period.
  1. If a student seeks to improve his or her learning, the student should retake the assessment or complete test corrections for the assessment.  Providing extra credit may be an option at the discretion of the teacher. Extra credit must be linked to standards and learning.
  2. Retake assessments should not include the same questions as the original assessment. Retake assessments could be presented in a format different from the original assessment; for instance if the original assessment is a multiple choice exam, then the retake may be a written or oral exam, at the teacher’s discretion.
  3. Test corrections must include the selection of the correct answer choice and a student’s written reflection of why this choice is the best answer. Additionally, a teacher may ask students to explain why incorrect choices are not the best answer choice. Test corrections should be completed in the presence of the teacher, not during a study hall or academic/study skills course so that the teacher may provide support as students work. Test corrections should be completed during tutorials before or after school or during lunch. Test corrections may be completed during a class period if the teacher incorporates corrections into instruction.
  4. When a student retakes an assessment, the highest grade earned replaces the lowest grade.
  5. In order to be eligible for a retake, the student must complete complete a Retake/Test Corrections Form and 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

References

Aungst, G.  (2014). Using Webb’s Depth of Knowledge to increase rigor.  Retrieved from  

www.edutopia.org/blog/webbs-depth-knowledge-increase-rigor-gerald-aungst 

Brookhart, S. M.  (2008) How to give effective feedback to your students. Alexandria, VA;  Association for

Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Center for Public Education. (2007). What research says about says about the value of homework. Retrieved

From http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Instruction/
What-research-says-about-the-value-of-homework-At-a-glance
.

Cooper, H., Robinson J.C., & Patall, E. A. (2006).  Does homework improve academic achievement?  A

synthesis of research.  1987-2003.  Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1-62.

Cushman, K. (2010). Show us what homework’s for. Educational Leadership, 68(1).Retrieved from

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept10/vol68/num01/Show-Us-What-Hom
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Galloway, M. & Pope, D. (2007), Hazardous Homework? The Relationship between homework, goal
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Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice

20(4), 25-31. Retrieved from https://people.hofstra.edu/Esther_Fusco/ENC204view.pdf 

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.

Marzano, R. J. (2000). Transforming classroom grading. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and

Curriculum Development.

National Center for Families Learning. (2014). Parents and homework. Retrieved from

http://www.familieslearning.org/public/uploads/press_releases/1411005306.PGuQ.Homework-Surve
        y.pdf
 

Reeves, D. B. (2008).  Leading to change/effective grading practices.  Educational Leadership, 65(5),

85-87. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb08/vol65/num05/Effective-Grading-Practices.aspx 

Reeves, D., Jung, L. A., and O’Connor, K. (2017). What’s worth fighting against in grading. Educational

Leadership, 74(8). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may17/vol74/num08/What's-Worth-Fighting-Against-in-Grading%C2%A2.aspx 

Vatterott, C. (2010). Five hallmarks of good homework. Educational Leadership, 68(1). Retrieved from

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Wormeli, Rick (2011).  Redos and retakes done right.  Educational Leadership, (69)3. Retrieved from

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov11/vol69/num03/Redos-and-Retakes-Done-Right.aspx 

Webb, N. L. et al.  “Web Alignment Tool” 24 July 2005.  Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.  

University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2 Feb. 2006. Retrieved from http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/WAT/index.aspx 

Revised June 2018