• Grading and Reporting in DVUSD

    Current Grading and Reporting Practices

    DVUSD K-8 educators follow the grading practices outlined in the DVUSD Promotion, Retention, Acceleration, and Grading Guidebook (PRAG).

    New Grading and Reporting Practices

    During the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years, a large team of educators and parents worked on reforming grading practices and building consistency in practices. The new practices were implemented with first grade courses in during the first four weeks of the 2019-2020 school year as a pilot.  All teachers will utilize the new grading practices in the 2021-2022 school year.

    Authentic Grading

    One of the first tasks of the committee was to craft a guiding definition of authentic grading. DVUSD’s definition of authentic grading is:

    Definition: Authentic grading accurately measures and reflects a student's performance based upon mastery of the standards

    The following four tenents are the foundation for authenic grading in DVUSD:

    • While grade determination rests with each teacher, grading practices must build consistency among teachers. 
    • Grades must communicate a student's level of proficiency of the standards.
    • Grades are for reporting the status academic learning, not behavioral conduct.
    • Grading practices must support student learning.

     null attribute Watch the clip, Grading Effectively with Ken O’Connor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGcjhaQuXK8

    null attribute Read the article, Don’t Get Rid of Grades: Change Their Meaning & Consequences by Thomas R. Guskey:  https://tguskey.com/dont-get-rid-grades-change-meaning-consequences/


    Grade Scales

    In order to accurately report student academic performance, the grade scale will communicate the level to which a student is performing based upon the standards. Additionally, the grading scale has an equal increments between each of the levels, thus eliminating the issue of a single level consuming a greater portion of the scale.  In other words, the 0-100% scale assigns a failing grade to 60 percent of the scale or 0-59% while each of the other levels compose only 10% each and together only make up 40% of the scale. The mathematical complications with this model render the 0-100% as ineffectual.

    null attribute Watch the video clip by Doug Reeves from :42 to 7:49:  https://youtu.be/G4IAv7K02Uc  

     Grades K-6 will use a 1-4 Grade Scale and grades 7-12 will use a 0-4 Grade Scale.

    K-6 Grade Scale

    7-12 Grade Scale

    Grades and Behavior    null attribute

    DVUSD will use grades to indicate academic performance and not behavioral expectations.  Although behavioral skills and attitudes are an important part of a student’s development, including behavior skills when reporting academic skills leads to miscommunication of a student’s level of learning standards.  Instead, behavioral issues will be handled through other means of assigning consequences, such as conferences, loss of privileges, discipline measures, and natural consequences. Issues such as late work, cheating, and missing work will be addressed as behavioral issues.  

    State law requires that academic grades are a reflection of relative content mastery (15-342, 15-521, 15-701). Behaviors such as turning in work late, not writing name on paper, or other academic behavior concerns should be reflected in the citizenship grade or addressed through behavioral consequences or intervention.  Students should not receive bonus points nor grade penalties for non-academic tasks such as bringing in classroom supplies, returning school paperwork, or participating in spirit week, etc.

    For more information on grades and behavior, such as late work, missing work, citizenship, etc., CLICK HERE.


    Course Grade Enhancement  null attribute

    High School students may be eligible to raise their final course grade in specific courses for earning a passing score on the AzM2 ELA, AzM2 Math, or AIMS Science assessment.  For more informtation, CLICK HERE.

    Additional Resources

    A Century of Grading Research: Meaning and Value in the Most Common Educational Measure

    Research Supporting Proficiency-Based Learning: Grading + Reporting

    Hanover Research: Effective Grading Practices inteh Middel School and High School Environments

    School Grading Policies Are Failing Children- A Call to Action for Equitable Grading