• Separating Behavior From Grades


    DVUSD has adopted a "Standards-Based Mindset" which, at its core, means that a student's grade will be authentic and be based solely on what he or she knows. It can be common for teachers to take off points for late work, giving a "0" for cheating, or even not giving a student an opportunity to turn in missing work for full credit. Some teachers may believe that they can use the act of penalizing grades as a tool to change unwanted behavior. Research has shown that penalizing grades does not change behavior but more importantly, when employed, it dramatically distorts a student's grade to the point where it no longer represents what a student actually knows. 


    That being said, students must still be held accountable for their behaviors. It just needs to be done in such a way that it is separate from grading. If a student is disrespectful to a teacher, we already have mechanisms in place to deal with those behaviors separate from going into the grade book and changing their grade. We already have systems in place to hold students accountable for their behaviors which have no impact on their grades and so it should not make a difference if those behaviors are based on disrespect or choosing to turn in work late - both are chosen behaviors. But the actions we take to hold students accountable should be directly proportional to the reason behind those behaviors. 


    If a student does not turn in their work on time, a teacher will determine if that lateness was because they did not actually understand the material or if they simply chose not to complete their work. If it is because they need more help, then there are systems in place to help them, but if they just made the decision not turn their work in when it was due, schools will have procedures in place to hold them accountable as well as ensure the work gets done. Either way, the grade a student receives will then solely be based on what they have learned. 


    [Note: Dual enrollment courses will be graded based on the college departmental policies concerning late work, retakes, and academic integrity and may not directly mirror district courses - see course syllabus for details]