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Bala Cynwyd Middle School


Lines of Communication: Grades

Parents are encouraged to have open discussions with their children to develop a mutually acceptable approach to utilizing the Portal. Guidelines to consider:

  • Talk with your child first. Direct communication with your child should be the first recourse if questions about grades arise. You are encouraged to ask your child clarifying questions.
  • Refer to the grading philosophy of each teacher. This may answer questions regarding assignments and/or grading procedures. For example, an assignment handed in late may receive deductions.
  • Keep in mind that grades are a work in progress.
  • Parents should encourage their children to approach their teachers about patterns in performance. Seeking assignment clarification should be done in person.
  • If a problem arises that cannot be resolved using the guidelines mentioned above, you may contact your child’s teacher directly. They will be happy to help clarify the situation.

Some teachers work on a straight points system, while others weigh the scores according to assignment categories (tests, quizzes, etc). Teachers inform students at the beginning of the course about their expectations and grading policy and may have a variety of ways to communicate this policy to your child. That communication may include any or all of the following:

  • Information provided directly to the student during class time
  • Syllabus
  • Blackboard
  • Details Window in PowerSchool

Grades can change dramatically over the course of a quarter. In the beginning of each report period, you may see a change in the class average of your child. This may be because when there are only one or two assignments in the grade book, a low or high score can make a dramatic change in the overall average. Often the largest, long term and cumulative assessments occur toward the end of a quarter or at the conclusion of a unit and may have a significant impact on the final grade.

Parents who have concerns regarding their child’s progress, curriculum, homework, etc. should contact their child’s teacher/team directly. Counselors may also be helpful as a liaison between parents and the teacher/team. The administration should only be contacted after there have been discussions with the teacher/team and/or counselor. Parents and students are encouraged to check teacher’s Blackboards for assignments and announcements.