Grading Policies and Procedures
- Student Evaluation
- Marking Period Grades
- Midterm and Final Assessments
- Course Grades
- Incomplete Grades
- Weighted Grades
- Pass/Fail Grading
- Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Auditing Courses
- Grade Appeals
- Homework Policy
- Make-Up Policy
Students will receive a letter grade for each marking period according to the following scale:
|Numerical Grade Range||Letter Grade||GPA (CP/Non-weighted)||GPA (Honors/weighted)|
** A minimum grade of 50% will be used for calculating the 1st marking period, 2nd marking period and midterm exam grade. For the 3rd and 4th marking periods and the final exam there is NO minimum grade for a yearlong course. For semester courses the 50% minimum is for the 1st or 3rd quarter ONLY.
Midterms and final assessments will be factored into the final course grades as separate entities.
|Numerical Grade Range||Letter Grade||Result|
- I - Incomplete (make up expected)
- M - Medical Excuse (no credit)
- WP - Withdrew Passing (no credit)
- WF - Withdrew Failing (no credit)
- P - Passing in Pass/Fail (credit earned)
- F -Failing in Pass/Fail (no credit)
- AU - Audit (no credit)
- NG - No Grade (no credit)
The evaluation of student progress and achievement must be continuous and purposeful. Teachers should use assessments diagnostically to help plan appropriate lessons. Students should be encouraged to evaluate their won progress and set realistic goals for themselves. The best kind of evaluation is a mutual assessment by students and teachers which leads to improved teaching and learning.
Grading becomes part of the evaluation process whenever progress is measured and recorded. Grades enable to student, parents and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses, to consider recommendations for promotion, retention, remediation or acceleration, and to plan an appropriate program of studies for the student.
- Each marking period will be worth 20% of the final grade for the course (40% for single semester courses).
- The midterm exam will be worth 9% of the final grade, and the final exam will be worth 11% of the final grade. (The final exam in a single semester course will be worth 20% of the final grade.)
- Teachers will use the numerical percentage to calculate the final grade for each quarter.
- The numerical percentages for each quarter will be used to calculate the final grade for the course.
- Each marking period and exam grade is assigned a value from 0%-100% (with the 50% minimum for the 1st marking period, 2nd marking period and midterm exam for yearlong courses only. For semester courses the 50% minimum is for the 1st or 3rd quarter ONLY.)
The process for calculating the course grade is as follows:
- Each of the 6 values is calculated by multiplying the quarter grades by 0.2, the midterm by 0.09 and the final by 0.11. (for single semester courses each quarter is multiplied by 0.4 and the final is multiplied by 0.2.)
- The 6 numbers are added. The result will be a number from 10-100.
- The result of this last step is that the grade is converted to a letter grade using the scale explained above.
- The numerical grade of 50% is the lowest grade that will be used to calculate the final grade for the 1st marking period, 2nd marking period and midterm exam grade for a yearlong course. For semester courses the minimum of 50% would be used for the 1st or 3rd marking period only. This provides a safeguard for students and the opportunity to recover with hard work from a bad first semester, quarter grade or midterm.
- Teachers will round to zero decimal places for quarter and final grades.
- Grades will be reported as letter grades on the report card and transcript.
- If a teacher believes that the grade that results from the above calculation is not an accurate reflection of the student’s performance, he or she may petition the principal, in writing, for permission to assign an alternate grade (as per Administrative Regulations for Policy #213).
Explanation of letter grades
A student who fails to complete work for a given quarter for legitimate reasons will receive an “incomplete.” This “incomplete” will be changed as soon as the student follows the policy for work missed during absences (see Make-Up Policy). Failure to remove the “incomplete” will result in a failing grade(s) for the missed work. The quarterly grade will be determined by including the failing grade(s) in the final average. All “incomplete” grades must be removed within two weeks after the end of the marking period or the grade will be entered as an “F”. “Incomplete” grades at the close of the school year are to be given only after consulting with the Principal.
For any course a student selects to complete beyond the first 4 credits of courses that school year, the student may request to have his grade reported in the form of the normal grading system (A, B, C, D, F) or in the form of the Pass/Fail grading system (P-Passing, F-Failing). The student must secure the permission of his/her teacher, guidance counselor, and parent by September 27, 2019 if it is a year-long course or first semester course, and by February 14, 2020 if it is a second semester course, if the student wishes to be graded on the Pass/Fail system.
**Neither Advanced Placement (AP) courses nor International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may be taken Pass/Fail.
The teacher will contract with the student specifying the student’s and teacher’s obligations with the understanding that the teacher may resolve the P/F designation, or may exit the student from the class if the student is not satisfying the conditions of the contract.
- Only courses in the five major academic areas (English, mathematics, science, social studies and world languages) will be included in a student’s GPA.
- Only final grades in courses in the five academic areas are used to calculate the GPA.
- GPA is only calculated at the end of each school year.
- Elective courses fall into one of three categories:
Elective courses in the first two categories are calculated in the GPA.
- The course is in a major subject area and is needed for a student to meet the graduation requirement in that area;
- The course is in a major subject area and is not needed for a student to meet the graduation requirement in that area
Please note that the GPA can be revised, with written administrative approval, when a student can be shown to be disadvantaged from some form of recognition because he/she took an elective course that falls into category two and an honors/AP level for that elective course was not offered at the time the student was enrolled in the elective course.
- The course is not in a major subject area. Elective courses in this category are not included in the GPA.
- Grades in major subject areas taken in the LM FACE TO FACE Summer School are included in the GPA.
- LM Online Summer School classes are NOT included in the calculation of GPA.
- Saturday classes are included in the calculation of GPA.
- If a student fails a course in one of the major academic areas and repeats the same class in LMSD Face to Face summer school, both courses and grades are listed on the transcript, and both are calculated in the GPA. Students do not get credit for the failed class, but will get credit for the summer class if passed.
- Pass/Fail: If a student uses this option in one of the five major academic areas and passes the course, the “grade” will not be included in the GPA calculation. If a student fails the course, the grade will be included in the GPA calculation.
- The weight given to the grades earned by the pupil in each course, calculated in the GPA will be:
Honors Level Courses
College Prep Level Courses
You may audit a course if you wish to explore an area of interest without grade and credit. To audit, you have to make arrangements through the counselor with the individual teacher. No grade or credit shall be given in an audited course and the status of the course cannot be changed during the academic year. Auditing is allowed only if there is space available in a course and the student fully participated in the class.
If a student or parent questions the grade on the student’s report card, the student and/or parent may request that the grade be reviewed using the following procedure:
- Student/parent submits a written request to the teacher to review the grade in question and to explain any specific concerns.
- The teacher will review the entire record of grades for the student and will describe to the student/parent the method of calculation used to determine the final grade.
- If “step b” does not resolve the concerns or the questions from the student/parent, the student/parent may submit an appeal to the Department Chairperson. The Department Chairperson will investigate the matter and either validates the teacher’s grade, suggests a change in the grade or recommends an alternative solution.
- If this does not result in a satisfactory outcome, the Principal will, if necessary, decide on the final outcome of the appeal and the final grade for the student.
**Grade appeals must be initiated prior to the last day of the following marking period or they will not be reviewed.
The Homework Policy (Policy #132) is a statement of the purpose of homework and the role of students, teachers, and parents in homework assignments. A major factor in determining how successful you are in school is the effort you invest in your own education.
Student learning and achievement is a complex and continuous process which is not limited to school. Homework permits the student to practice skills learned during the school day, expand the learning to deepen the student’s knowledge, and be introduced to new content. Furthermore, research shows a positive relationship between moderate amounts of homework and achievement for students at the secondary level. The Board of School Directors recognizes the need to establish homework criteria for teachers, parents/guardians and students which will increase the effectiveness of instruction for students.
“Homework” shall mean those assignments given to students which are to be prepared or completed outside of the school day.
Homework shall be assigned regularly to students by teachers in an amount consistent with best practices as evidenced in the educational research. Homework shall be a purposeful and congruent part of the instructional process. It shall be evaluated by teachers in a manner that provides timely feedback. At the middle and high school levels, to the extent that it is consistent with student learning and overall achievement, homework shall count as a part of the students’ grades.
The Superintendent shall prepare, distribute and administer regulations governing homework. The regulations shall include:
- Purpose and importance of the homework assignment;
- Establish parameters for the types and quantities of homework to be given within certain grade levels and across curricular areas.
- Role of the teacher in homework assignment;
- Role of the student in homework assignment;
- How the parent/guardian may assist in the homework process;
- Guidelines for homework in the elementary school;
- Guidelines for homework in the middle school;
- Guidelines for homework in the high school;
- Provisions for staff development to facilitate compliance with this Policy and its accompanying regulations; and
How the contents of this Policy, its accompanying regulations and the expectations which the policy establishes will be publicized to the school community, including:
- District publications
- The District website
- Student handbooks
- Staff handbooks
This regulation implements Board policy regarding homework. As the student advances through the grades, homework assignments should increase gradually in complexity and in the expected amount of time required for completion. Because students differ in abilities, needs, and interests, they require varying amounts of time to complete similar assignments and some students may require homework assignments that are different from those given to peers. Homework assignments, therefore, should be differentiated for students as appropriate. Furthermore, teacher autonomy with respect to assigning homework should be balanced with the need for aligning similar courses.
A. Purposes of Homework Assignment
Homework assignments are designed to:
- Provide feedback to teachers about student learning;
- Develop and reinforce skills needed for success and life-long learning;
- Lead to independence and self-discipline in completing individual assignments;
- Foster effective collaboration when group tasks are assigned;
- Expand the student’s depth of understanding and ability to apply learning;
- Broaden and stimulate intellectual/creative development
- Reinforce problem-solving approaches and techniques;
- Expand the student’s appreciation of the world in which he/she lives; and
- Instill a sense of confidence in the student for attaining a recognized objective.
B. Role of the Teacher in Homework Assignment
The teacher’s role is to:
- Make certain that the assignment has genuine meaning;
- Make the purpose and expected outcome of the homework clear, so that students will be able to proceed independently within a reasonable and developmentally appropriate timeframe;
- Recognize that all students benefit from appropriately assigned homework and conversely, do not benefit from homework that is not assigned appropriately;
- When practical, supervise the beginning of any assignment so that the student understands what is required and is able to complete it independently;
- Provide students with sound study skills, as needed;
- Differentiate tasks for all students, as appropriate, to address student interests, learning styles, and achievement levels. Additionally, teachers need to be familiar with documented individual student needs, such as may be found in Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Gifted Individualized Education Programs (GIEPs), Section 504 Service Agreements, and records pertaining to students with limited English proficiency;
- Provide access to all needed materials and resources;
- Understand that not all students have optimal resources at home to complete homework;
- Take into consideration other District-related and non-District-related demands on student’s time when assigning homework, such as prominent school functions;
- Be certain that homework assignments are completed by students within an appropriate timeline while not unduly interfering with bona fide religious observances;
- Assess student understanding of the learning task and follow up with classroom instruction;
- Evaluate assigned homework in a timely and appropriate manner that is not unduly or unfairly punitive with respect to late or incomplete homework;
- Communicate with parents and student as needed to ensure that teacher and parent are aware of difficulties and other issues of concern the student is having successfully completing homework assignments so that the teacher has the opportunity to offer support.
C. Role of the Student in Homework Assignment
The student’s role is to:
- Make certain that he/she understands the requirements of the assignment as to its purpose, format, and due date;
- Assume responsibility for completion of individual assignments;
- Utilize study tools and available materials;
- Manage study time effectively in school and at home; and
- Work cooperatively to complete the student’s part of any assignments involving the cooperation of one or more classmates.
- Communicate with teacher as needed to ensure that teacher is aware of difficulties student is having successfully completing homework assignments so that the teacher has the opportunity to offer support.
Parents/guardians are encouraged to assist in the homework process by:
- Providing an atmosphere which is conducive to studying and completing assignments;
- Encouraging the student to study at a regular time;
- Assisting the student in understanding what homework has been assigned;
- Encouraging the student to work independently while completing assignments in a timely and legible fashion, consistent with teacher expectations and student ability.
- Assisting the student with time-management.
- Communicate with teacher as needed to ensure that teacher is aware of difficulties student is having successfully completing homework assignments so that the teacher has the opportunity to offer support
E. Homework in the High School
- Students in high school generally need to carry an average of 5.25 credits each year in order to meet the district graduation requirement of 21 credits. Generally, a ninth grade student carrying the typical number of credits should expect to spend approximately ninety minutes per day on homework, either in school or at home. This expected amount of time should increase by no more than 10 minutes per year for the following three years, so that by senior year, 12th graders should typically expect to receive no more than two hours of homework per day.
- The Lower Merion School District does not limit the number of courses a high school student can take during the regular school day nor is there a restriction on the number of AP, Honors or IB courses a student may take. Therefore, a student choosing to take more than 5.25 credits a year and/or taking one or more AP, Honors or IB courses should expect the amount of homework to be greater than the amount of homework expected of students taking fewer credits and students not taking AP, Honors or IB courses.
- Students planning to take more than a typical caseload of credits and/or planning to take one or more AP, Honors or IB courses should meet with their school counselor in advance of scheduling in order to discuss time-management issues relating to homework and how this decision may impact the ability to engage in other school and non-school related activities.
- Whenever possible, the test/examination schedule should be structured so as to avoid assigning more than two full-class period examinations per day. Also, no more than 2 midterms or finals should be scheduled for the same day.
- When homework is given over a weekend, including a three day weekend, it should be expected to take no longer to complete than a typical single night’s homework.
- Homework should not be given shortly before a Holiday Break that is expected to be completed over the Holiday Break. In this context, “Holiday Break” means one of the following: the Thanksgiving Holiday Break, the Winter Break or the Spring Break.
- Homework assignments should have due dates and times that correspond with regular school days and hours. In other words, homework assignments should not be given due dates or times that occur in the evening or over weekends or holidays.
- Homework assignments should not be posted electronically on LMSD-Net unless students have been informed in advance during class that the homework will be posted.
- In order to be meaningful and effective, homework needs to be checked and assessed for completion and correctness on a regular basis. Each teacher needs to inform students and parents in writing at the beginning of the year regarding how homework will be assigned, assessed, and included as part of the student’s grade.
Students have the responsibility for finding out what “work” has been missed during absences. “Work” is defined as, but not limited to, examinations, tests, quizzes, homework assignments, class work, class notes, and class discussions. It is each student’s obligation to obtain missed assignments and to schedule missed tests (quizzes) on the first day back to school after an absence. This includes absences due to sporting events, theatre, choir and other school activities.
The administrative regulations for Board Policy #240 are listed below.
In the Case of Excused Absence
Work Missed Because of a Short Absence (1-3 days)
The responsibility for making up work rests with the pupil. Pupils should assume that normal classroom activities have occurred on the day(s) of the absence and it is suggested that the pupil telephone a classmate to obtain daily assignments. A pupil shall be given twice the number of school days of absence to complete work missed. The only exception to such a provision shall be long-term assignments which were due during the absence on the day the pupil returns. Such long-term assignments are due on the day the pupil returns.
Any assignments, quizzes, or tests known to students before absences occur are due or must be completed the day of the student’s return to school (defined as the student’s first day back on school grounds—tests can be made up in the Help Center).
Work Missed Because of Prolonged Absence (with the exception of pupils who are provided with homebound instruction
The responsibility for making up work rests with the pupil. After a pupil has been absent from more than three days, assignments may be requested by telephoning the appropriate guidance counselor in middle and high schools or the elementary school office. Such assignments shall be supplied within twenty-four hours. If assignments have not been secured during an absence, pupils may obtain missed assignments and reschedule missed tests on the first day after an absence or on the first day a class meets thereafter. All missed work shall be completed according to a schedule developed jointly by the pupil and teacher within a period not to exceed twice the number of school days that the student was absent. If the prolonged absence has received pre-approval by the principal or designee, arrangements of the completion of some of the work to be missed may be made prior to the absence at the discretion of the teacher.
The school attendance officer shall determine whether an absence is to be classified as excused or unexcused.
Missed Final and Mid-Term Examinations (High School)
Students who request to miss midterm or final exams due to extenuating circumstances will have to do the following in order to make up the exams:
- obtain the REQUEST FOR MIDTERM/FINAL EXAM RESCHEDULING FORM,
- submit it to the appropriate assistant principal for approval
- give the approved form to the appropriate teacher(s) for their signatures
- take the form to the parent(s) or guardian(s) for their signatures.
- Return the completed form to the appropriate assistant principal.
All exams must be completed within the appropriate time frame. An “Incomplete” will be given until the exam is taken. If the final exam is not taken by September 30th of the following school year, the grade will become an “F.” If a midterm is not made up within 1 week of the conclusion of midterm exams, the Incomplete becomes an “F.”
Failure to Make Up Missed Work
Failure of a pupil to adhere to the established time limits may result in a zero for all work which has been missed. Pupils who have failed to meet the established time limitations for the make-up of missed work may request a hearing before the principal or designee who shall determines whether an extension of the time limit should be granted.
In the Case of Unexcused Absence
A pupil may receive a zero for all work missed during periods of unexcused absence. Pupils wishing to appeal the designation of an absence as unexcused may request a hearing before the principal or designee.
In the Case of Suspension from School
When work is missed due to suspension from school, the pupil must take the initiative to make up the work missed but the make-up shall be done at the teacher’s convenience. The pupil may receive a zero for the work which was missed during the period of suspension and that zero shall stand unless the pupil follows the same time limitations which are described in Section 1 above.
In the Case of Unexcused Lateness or Unexcused Early Dismissal
Students may receive a ZERO for all missed work (including tests, quizzes and labs) due to unexcused tardiness to school. Additionally if a student does not have an excused reason for leaving school early, a zero will be given for any missed assignments. It is the student’s responsibility to bring a doctor’s note no later than THE NEXT DAY if a student states the reason for the early dismissal is a doctor’s appt. Failure to provide the note the NEXT DAY will result in a zero for all missed work.