New guidelines related to grading announced (FAQ)


With guidance from the State Board of Education and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Hockinson School District is providing families with new details related to grading practices during the emergency school closure.

The district understands that at-home learning has created new challenges, and we will continue to have high academic expectations for our students. At the same time, the district is working to minimize the impact of the closure on our students’ status related to promotion and grading.

While K-8 students will advance to the next grade level at the conclusion of the school year, all schools and students across the state are expected to put forth a “good faith” effort by continuing teaching and learning until the final day of school (June 19). The district has developed a grading model in which work assigned after March 13, 2020 will be expected to be turned in and graded. For students in grades 8-12, the grading scale will be: A, B, C, D and Incomplete.

A student’s overall grade will not drop below where it was on March 13, 2020, but students who do not engage in at-home learning should expect to receive an “Incomplete.” We do not expect many incompletes as teachers and administrators will work very hard to communicate with and support our students during the next two months. However, students who have an “F” grade or produce “F” work will receive an Incomplete and be expected to demonstrate proficiency on course learning standards to earn a letter grade. In such instances, schools would reach out to students and families to create a student learning plan for grade recovery.

For more details about grading guidelines in the HSD, see the Frequently Asked Questions below:

HSD Grading FAQ

Does the HSD grading policy just apply to students in grades 9-12, or all students?

The considerations of grading and credits mainly apply to high school students. That said, they do apply to our middle school and elementary students in the sense that those students are also assessed on their attainment relative to learning standards.

Will all students receive grades, whether they are A-F (or “Incomplete”) for high school students or 1-4 for middle and elementary students?

Yes. There is a greater emphasis on high school grading because it is linked to credits and graduation requirements for high school students. If they receive an “Incomplete” at the end of 2nd Semester, their class standing will be affected. If they are a Senior, an “Incomplete” could affect their graduation status.

In most cases, middle school students’ grades will reflect their standing on March 13, 2020. However, their real-time grade will reflect their participation and progress in at-home learning. They will be promoted.

Elementary learners might get the same proficiency level in June that they had in March (Example: A Level 2 out of 4) because they may not have the opportunity to develop their writing, math, listening or social skills. However, they too will be promoted. Teachers will be working to cover critical standards this spring, but curriculum will likely need to be modified next fall. Summer learning opportunities are also being explored.

If a student’s final grade is the grade will not drop below what it was on March 13, 2020, does my student have to participate in at-home learning?

Yes. It is important that students understand that courses are built around content and standards that prepare them for next year’s content and standards. HSD teachers are working very hard to tailor instruction and learning activities to these standards in the weeks remaining until June 19.

Are grades based on student progress through March 13 or through June 19?

Student work submitted since the start of at-home learning will be graded. However, the impact of these grades has either a neutral or beneficial effect on the student’s March 13, 2020 grade. It cannot negatively impact a student’s grade unless they fail to make a satisfactory effort in at-home learning, which is aligned with state learning standards.

Another factor that could impact grades would be assignments or projects assigned prior to March 13, 2020. If a student fails to turn in that work their final “March 13” grade would be negatively affected.

Can you give me an example of what these grading guidelines look like in practice?

Example 1: Student A had an “A” on March 13, 2020. She averages a “B” on all of the work she turned in from April - June. She will earn a final grade of “A.”

Example 2: Student B had an “A” on March 13, 2020. He does not turn in any work from April - June. He will earn a final grade of “Incomplete.”

Example 3: Student C had an “F” on March 13, 2020. She continued to perform poorly from April - June. She will earn a final grade of “Incomplete.”

Example 4: Student D had a “C” on March 13, 2020. He excelled on work assigned from April - June. He ends up with a final grade of a “B+.”

Example 5: Student E had a “B” on March 13, 2020 with an unfinished project that was assigned on March 11, 2020 and due the week of March 16, 2020. She failed to turn in the assignment. She engaged in the class through June 19, but since she did not turn in the project, her final grade ended up at a “B-.”

My student’s grade was higher on March 13, 2020 than is currently reflected in Schoology? Which grade is the right one - the March 13 or the current one?

In most cases, the March 13, 2020 grade is the “right one” that will appear on your student’s report card and transcript. The Schoology grade is a real-time reflection of how your student is doing in the class overall.

Where can I find out more from the State Superintendent’s Office on this topic?

You can review OSPI’s Student Learning and Grading Guidance information here.

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