Grading Policy

Grading Philosophy

There are two kinds of grading. Grades that indicate a student is compliant and grades that show student achievement against a pre-established set of outcomes. Clinton is firmly an outcome-based grading school, which means we grade student achievement against a pre-established set of outcomes.  Given our core beliefs about teaching and learning, and after studying and discussing the grading policy over the course of two years, Clinton faculty and administrators have established the grading practices outlined below. 

Clinton values project based learning and we believe all students must be given opportunities to demonstrate mastery of learning. Exams and tests are one way to demonstrate a student’s learning, but they should not be used exclusively without including other types of assessments incorporated into units of study.  Therefore, units include multiple assessments where students are able to demonstrate their knowledge, including projects and performance-based summative assessment.   

We use outcome grading via Jupiter Grades.  

Grade weights are distributed between content outcomes and Hawk Habits.  Hawk Habits were established to measure students on grade appropriate habits that we feel are essential for future success and are connected with IB Learner Profiles for Upper Grades. 

Middle Grades Late Work Policy

  • Projects and larger assignments due over a long period of time will be accepted up until 10 days before the close of the semester.  Parents should be advised to push students to make up larger projects asap. This is so that teachers have time to grade them, and also so that students have an opportunity to demonstrate proficiency on outcomes. 
  • Smaller homeworks will be accepted up until a week after the due date and then no longer accepted.
  • In cases where a student attends school intermittently and has a paraprofessional, the paraprofessional will collect work and email it home to the family each day. Assignments are due according to the deadlines set by the teacher. The student may turn in work electronically by emailing it to the teacher if the student is absent from school on the due date. Any work not submitted will be marked as per the grading policies that address missing work and late work found in the school’s handbook.

Upper Grades Late Work Policy

    • Projects and larger assignments are due on the deadline given by the teacher.  If a student is concerned about not meeting a deadline, the student must schedule a conference to speak with the teacher at least two days prior to the deadline in order to formulate a plan for completion.  If a project or larger assignment is turned in after the deadline without a conference, the grade for the project may be reduced.
    • Smaller homeworks are due by the teacher’s given deadline.  Homework that is not turned in on time will result in a reduced grade.  Students who struggle to complete a homework should demonstrate an attempt to complete the work and note any questions that they need to ask the teacher.
    • In the Upper Grades there is a quarterly cut-off for all late work midway through the semester, and another one for the second semester. They are marked on our calendar.

Grading and Progress Reports

Middle and upper school outcome grades are reported on the 1-7 scale.

What does the 7 point scale mean?

The 1 – 7 scale is aligned with the International Baccalaureate grading scale.  As a school, we use the scale to measure a students understanding on each given assignment.  In general, level 2 is considered passing, a level 5 shows a student is showing full understanding on a given standard and a level 7 suggests that a student has shown understandings above and beyond the expectations. The following section gives general descriptors to better understand what each level means. 

Level

Descriptors

Level 7

 

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.

Level 6

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. There is consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.

Level 5

A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.

Level 4

A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Level 3

Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.

Level 2

Very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills, and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.

Level 1

Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.  No course credit awarded.

Many standards based schools are working with the New York City Department of Education, but currently we are required to convert our levels into percentages.  On final report cards, a 7.0 mark translates to 100%, 6.0 translates to a 93%, 5.0 translates to 85%, 4.0 to 80%, 3.0 to 70%, 2.0 to 65% and 1.0 to 55%.

Grades are given twice a year. Each half of the year is a separate grade. There is no final grade, as each semester is credit bearing. Thus, a student can pass one term and receive credit and fail another.

In the middle and upper grades awards ceremony, each teacher honors an academically strong student and a student who exemplifies one of the IB learner profile attributes.  

Grade teams have discretion in their awards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this work?
Absolutely. Outcome based grading is not a Clinton invention. In fact, almost 100% of elementary schools use outcome based grading, and Jupiter has plenty of experience using outcome based grading with schools in many states. Many middle and high schools are now also migrating to outcome-based grading. Outcome based grading is advocated by Robert Marzano and other learning experts in the field.

Can a student still fail?
Sure. Or, as I like to say, a student can fail him or herself. If a student does not demonstrate any mastery of outcomes, nor produces any evidence that they are proficient in Hawk Habits, they can still receive a failing grade of 55.

How should I use Jupiter?
We strongly urge you to have an open and frank discussion with your child about Jupiter Grades. While there is tremendous power in an online grading system, it can also become a battleground or a source of anxiety. It helps to set some ground rules in your home, about how you and your child will share the information in Jupiter.

What about students with IEPs?
The Special Education Department has begun to write IEP goals that are in line with these outcomes. While this will not mean that students with IEPs will struggle less, we believe that we will better be able to identify the areas they struggle in, and support them through the framework of whatever additional support they receive.

Where I can learn more about outcomes?
Curriculum Night.