The purpose of grades is to accurately reflect individual student achievement as related to course objectives.
The School Board recognizes that students learn best through a system of clear learning objectives, quality formative assessment, developmental feedback, and the opportunity to respond to that feedback.
Formative Assessment and Feedback
Formative assessment is the process of understanding one’s current performance compared to desired performance and making necessary adjustments to improve the next time. Formative assessment also involves learning from one’s mistakes. A key part of the formative assessment process is non-judgmental developmental feedback.
Communication of Learning Targets
In the Special Education department, learning targets and quality performance are communicated through:
- Course syllabi that parallel corresponding mainstream courses. These syllabi will be reviewed and revisited at the beginning of each new unit and throughout the course.
- Course and unit learning objectives explicitly stated and thoroughly reviewed through the course syllabus.
- Clarification of learning targets on a daily basis both verbally and in writing.
- Project and lesson handouts including rubrics and/or samples of what students should accomplish.
- Modeling such as demonstrating the proper way to greet another peer or adult.
In the Special Education department, students have the opportunity to improve their performance through formative assessment and timely developmental feedback through:
- In class guided practice to help students achieve the learning targets, with teachers providing individual verbal and/or written feedback in response to students' practice efforts.
- Verbal feedback will in connection with class instruction and group discussion in order to facilitate progress towards learning targets.
- Individual conferences with students to discuss progress towards learning targets, clarifying what is expected to achieve at a higher level. During these conferences, students have the opportunity to ask for clarification, make corrections, and improve the quality of their work.
- Written feedback on assessments to help students improve the quality of their final performance.
Accurately self-assessing one’s work empowers the learner to understand learning goals, monitor progress, and understand the relationship between the effectiveness of one’s effort and one’s improvement.
In the Special Education department, students are expected to accurately self-assess their own work by:
- Comparing their work to provided solutions and making necessary corrections.
- Assessing their solutions to homework problems as they are corrected in class.
- Assessing their in class work in connection with class discussion.
Summative Assessment and Grading
The school board recognizes that formal grade reporting is necessary to provide summative information about student performance. Specifically, summative assessment and grade reporting inform students, parents, teaching staff and administration of how well a student meets learning objectives in a grade level or course and provides an official record of student performance.
Achievements of course learning objectives are the primary factor in determining grades. Furthermore, the most important skills and content knowledge are given the greatest weight. In the Special Education department, grades are determined by:
- Semester Grade = 40% Quarter 1 + 40% Quarter 2 + 20% Final Exam.
- Quarter Grade determination:
- Unit tests = 25%
- Section Quizzes = 25%
- Written Projects (Chapter reports, essays, book reports, research papers, etc.)= 25%
- Homework= 25%
Note: After significant formative assessment and non-graded feedback from instructor, small stakes assignments will be graded to assess progress toward unit objectives.
Redoing Summative Assessments
- A test may be retaken if students first come to ISHP to make test corrections and then retake the test within the week.
- Written assignments may be redone as well, but students must first attend a Special Education writing lab before doing so.
Although group work may occur, no grades are given in connection with it.
Extra credit is not available in Special Education courses.
All efforts will be made to assist students in completing work by assigned deadlines. Late work will not be accepted after one week prior to the end of the quarter and, instead, will receive no credit.
Behavior is a critical component to creating a respectful, supportive learning environment, and effort is a critical component in the learning process. In the Special Education department, behavior and effort are reported by the building-wide, quarterly behavior/effortmarks. Note:
- In determining these marks, students are expected to put forth their maximum effort.
- Students are held to high standards and expected to do their best in meeting these standards.
- In order to meet these standards, students are expected to be on time, have all necessary materials for class, seek extra help when necessary, and meet assignment deadlines.
Academic dishonesty will be handled as stated in the student handbook.
Alignment to District Policies
This policy is aligned to District Grading Policy (345.1), District Homework Policy (345.3) and Accommodating Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs (323.1).
Behavior that disrupts the teaching and/or learning process for others will be addressed through the school district’s code of classroom conduct (443.7).