DVUSD Beliefs about Grading and Reporting
The purpose of grading and reporting is to communicate students’ academic progress towards meeting learning standards. Learning standards define what students will know and be able to do in order to be college and career ready. DVUSD believes that authentic grading accurately measures and reflects a student’s performance based upon mastery of the Arizona State standards. All students will graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary success in college, careers, and citizenship.
Updated Grading Practices
A Phased-in Approach
In our efforts to continue to expand and grow our academic progress in the Deer Valley Unified District, a large group of educators and parents have been working for just over three years to improve grading practices in the district. The guiding principle the teams utilized to make decisions was that authentic grading accurately measures and reflects a student’s performance based upon mastery of the Arizona State Standards. Two major areas emerged as elements of grading that are critical to address: removing behavior from academic grades and addressing the complications of the zeroes on the 100-point scale.
PHASE 1: 2021-2022
In the 2021-2020 school year, all DVUSD schools will implement updated grading practices which focus on removing beharioral elements from the grading in order to increase the accuracy of the reported grade.
Since the goal of grading is to ensure student grades are authentic and consistently reflect the mastery a student has of the standards, it is important that those grades are accurate and do not also reflect behaviors. For instance, when a student is approved to turn in late work, the grade reported for the late work will be the actual grade earned. Teachers will no longer reduce the grade or cap the grade merely for the work being turned in late. The behavioral aspect of not having work ready to be turned in on time will be addressed by assigning disciplinary consequences (ex, lunch detention, parent conference, counselor referral, etc.). In the same way penalties for poor behavior will not be factored into the academic grade, extra credit for desired behavior will not be factored in. Instead of putting academic elements and behavior elements all together to produce an academic grade, behavior will be handled through the school's discipline and rewards processes and academics will be reported through the course grade.
Ten schools will implement new grading scales (see below). The schools are Anthem, Barry Goldwater HS, Deer Valley MS, new River, Norterra Canyon, Park Meadows, Sunset Ridge, Terramar, Union Park, and Sandra Day O'Connor HS.
The traditional way of grading that most people are familiar with is a 100-point scale where 90-100 is considered an A, 80-89 is a B, etc. The problem with this type of grading scale is that, whereas each letter grade is made up of 10 points, an F accounts for 0-59 points. So, if a student is missing an assignment and gets a 0, that loss of 59 points has a dramatic impact on his or her overall grade and is extremely difficult to overcome.
The updated grading scales put equal weight for each grade category. Also instead of assigning a letter grade, the grading scale will reflect a level of proficiency of the learning so there is more consistency throughout the district. Because it is difficult to have any one policy fit from Kindergarten through 12th grade, there will be two separate scales, one for K-6th grades and one for 7th-12th grades. The following will be the new grading scales for the ten Phase I schools in the 2021-2022 school year:
PHASE 1: 2022-2023
In the 2022-2023 school year, the remaining DVUSD schools will implement the new grading scales.
Grading and Reporting Guides
For grading procedures for grades K-6 see the K-6 Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Grading Guidebook
For grading procedures for grades 7-8 see the 7-8 Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Grading Guidebook
Problems with the 100 Point Grade Scale
Toxic Grading Practices
Redos, Retakes, Do-Overs
Penalites for Missing or Late Work
Late Work - Penalty for Not Doing the Work is Doing the Work