Grading: High School & Intermediate

Please read the articles below for more information on grading at the High School and Intermediate School level.

Effective Grading Practices in the Middle School and High School Environments
Grading- If They'd Only Do Their Work
Retaking Tests
Reform and Changes

Changes in Summative and Formative Grading

What is the purpose of grading?
How should feedback and grades be communicated to students and parents?
What about homework?
If homework isn’t graded, will students do it?
Do grades motivate?
Do grades stop students from learning?
Should grades include effort or participation?
How can we provide students and parents with information about effort and participation?
What happens when students fail?
What about late or missing work?

These questions will guide the research and discussions of the district’s Secondary Grading Committee that will begin meeting in February.  The committee’s goal will be to develop a secondary grading proposal that will go before the West Allis- West Milwaukee School Board for approval in May.

Food for thought… We are asking teachers to think like coaches:

  • Practice is guided and observed whenever possible; formative practice
  • Players practice on their own time, as well; home practice
  • Players receive feedback on their performance; formative practice
  • Players and coaches strategize together; formative practice
  • Decisions are made based on practice/drills; formative assessment
  • Scrimmage games provide players with the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge; formative or summative assessment
  • Coaches assessment performance; summative assessment
  • Data and observations are used to adjust strategies and refine techniques; summative assessment
  • Game day (weekly schedule, playoffs, Super Bowl); summative assessment

The language of learning…

Experts agree that grades should reflect what students know and what they can do, the acquisition of academic knowledge and skills. This acquisition of knowledge and skills can be demonstrated in a variety of ways at different points in learning and over time.  Learners who miss the goal should have the opportunity to provide new evidence or different evidence.  Learners should be given specific feedback so that they are more likely to reach the learning goal.   

To more closely align with elementary grading policies and procedures, secondary teachers are now being required to use two assessment categories, formative and summative, to determine grades. Grades in these two categories determine the quarter and semester grades.  Teachers are being asked to conduct at least four summative assessments, one of which should be a performance task, per quarter. Assessment questions should be linked to learning targets and standards.  Throughout the learning process, teachers will use formative assessment to monitor progress on specific skills and understanding of content and provide students with meaningful feedback.  Students are encouraged to provide evidence of learning in a variety of ways. The goal of education remains the same, to provide instruction and design learning experiences so that students learn. 

Teachers in grades 6-12 are utilizing a summative achievement grade and a formative grade in their Infinite Campus grade books to determine quarter and semester grades.

Formative assessments count for 20% of final grade (While important, not all formative practice is graded.)

    • Provide information on the development of knowledge and skills
    • Occur during the learning process (home and class practice)
    • Frequent and timely with specific feedback to students; feedback takes different forms- written or descriptive, verbal, rubric, or graded

    Summative assessments count for 80% of final grade

      • Determine the level of proficiency of knowledge/concepts and skills
      • One assessment can have multiple grades
      • Follow the completion of the learning process of skills and concepts/knowledge
      • Students demonstrate what they have learned, providing evidence

      Teachers, administrators, and parents will develop a 2015-16 a detailed roll out plan for summative and formative grading that includes…

      • Expectations regarding feedback/communication
      • Use of rubrics to grade summative assessments (when applicable)
      • Uniform policies proposals for School Board consideration
        • Grading scale, Retaking assessments to demonstrate proficiency, Missing work, Late work, Extra credit, Credit Recovery

        If you would like to part of the district committee that will develop a grading proposal for West Allis West Milwaukee Board of Education to consider for approval for the 2015-16 school year, please contact Deb Beyer.