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Grading guidance through the end of the year

| June 3, 2020

Dear North Colonie Families:

As the calendar turns to June, we wanted first to thank you for your partnership during these extraordinary times. We appreciate your patience, support, and understanding as we worked with the New York State Education Department, our regional colleagues working under the umbrella of Capital Region BOCES, the New York State Department of Health, and the Albany County Department of Health to implement mandated measures and make informed decisions in the best interest of all of our students. Often, this required our moving more slowly than you or we might have wanted, as we awaited guidance and parameters from our governing authorities.

We know that parents and students are concerned about grades and the impact this will have on student transcripts, GPAs and applications to college, particularly after the State Education Department took action to exempt all students from Regents exams they intended to take in June of 2020. We want to assure our families and students that schools, both K-12 and the collegial level, are adjusting their typical grading practices and policies during this unprecedented time. Our district has worked closely with the other school districts in our area to approach grading in a similar way.  

Today, we want to share with you the grading procedures that will be in place for students in grades K-12 for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. These procedures will determine how course credit is awarded and/or how final averages are calculated.

We worked with our teachers, our administrators, and our colleagues in the region to design grading procedures with the well-being of all our students in mind. The practices reflect not only the unprecedented situation the COVID-19 crisis has created, but also the integrity of an academic program in which students and staff have invested time and effort.

Should you have any questions once you review the information below, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or your building principal. Thank you again for your understanding and your partnership as we work through these extraordinary times.

Sincerely,

D. Joseph Corr
Superintendent

Elementary

As you know, due to COVID-19, North Colonie CSD had to move to remote learning starting in mid- March. For grades K-6, that meant our entire third trimester took place at home. As a result, students will not be receiving our traditional grading on their report cards. Students will receive teacher comments on their report cards for the last trimester, addressing items such as student strengths, contributions to the class, and areas in need of focus.

Although there will be no grades in the column for trimester three, the 2019-2020 report card will continue to include grading and commentary from the first two trimesters, as it represents all of the curriculum and learning from the entire school year.

Junior High School

How will Quarter 4 and Final School Marks be calculated and recorded for all 7th and 8th grade courses that are not taken for high school credit?

Quarter 4 

    • Students will receive a 1-4 rating and a comment for the fourth quarter similar to quarter 3.
    • This assessment will show students’ progress toward meeting essential learning standards for the course:
      • 4:  Student exceeds course expectations and consistently demonstrates a high level of understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 3:  Student meets course expectations and demonstrates an understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 2:  Student partially meets course expectations and demonstrates some understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 1:  Student does not yet meet course expectations and does not yet demonstrate an understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
    • School closure will be noted by “EXSC” in the Quarter Grade column

Final School Mark (FSM):

      • Final School Marks will be indicated as either Pass or Fail based upon the entirety of course work throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
      • Students will not receive traditional A, B, C, D or F alpha grades.
      • Quality Points will not be used to determine promotion to the next grade.

How will Quarter 4 and Final School Marks be calculated and recorded for 7th and 8th grade courses associated with High School credit?

(i.e. Algebra or other Accelerated Math Courses, Earth Science, 8th Grade World Language or other Accelerated World Language Courses, Studio Art & Drawing and Design & Drawing for Engineering, Accelerated credit in Music)

Quarter 4 

    • Same as above

Final School Mark (FSM)

      • Numeric grades will be calculated as follows:
        • All students have a semester one average.
          • The semester one average is a weighted calculation. 
          • Quarter 1 and 2 grades each count for 20% and the midterm counts for 10%. 
      • All students had work completed through March 13th and grades were frozen at that point.
        • We will calculate a second average based on Quarters 1, 2, and 3, and midterm.
        • This average will also be a weighted calculation with Quarter 1, 2, and 3 grades each counting for 20% and the midterm counting for 10%.
      • We will then compare the two calculations.  Whichever average is higher will be used as the final school mark.
      • The numeric grade will be recorded on a student’s transcript and factored into a student’s grade point average (GPA)

Senior High School

How will final school marks and course credit be determined for full-year courses for students in grades 9-12?

Quarter 4

    • Students will be assessed for fourth quarter using the 1-4 system developed for quarter 3 in order to account for remote learning during the closure.
    • This assessment will show students’ progress toward meeting essential learning standards for the course:
      • 4:  Student exceeds course expectations and consistently demonstrates a high level of understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 3:  Student meets course expectations and demonstrates an understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 2:  Student partially meets course expectations and demonstrates some understanding of concepts and/or skills taught.
      • 1:  Student does not yet meet course expectations and does not yet demonstrate an understanding of concepts and/or skills taught. 

Final School Mark (FSM)

    • Numeric grades will be calculated as follows:
      • All students have a semester one average.
        • The semester one average is a weighted calculation. 
        • Quarter 1 and 2 grades each count for 20% and the midterm counts for 10%. 
    • All students had work completed through March 13th and grades were frozen at that point.
      • We will calculate a second average based on Quarters 1, 2, and 3, and midterm.
      • This average will also be a weighted calculation with Quarter 1, 2, and 3 grades each counting for 20% and the midterm counting for 10%.
    • We will then compare the two calculations.  Whichever average is higher will be used as the final school mark.
    • The numeric grade will be recorded on a student’s transcript and factored into a student’s grade point average (GPA)

How will final school marks and course credit be determined for high school second semester (half-year) courses?

  • All students enrolled in non-college credit bearing courses that occurred during semester 2 will receive credit for their coursework.  
    • This credit will be indicated by a P (pass) on the report card and transcript. 
  • These second semester courses will NOT be factored into a student’s overall GPA.

How will final school marks and course credit be determined for second semester (half-year) courses that are college credit bearing?

  • Semester 2 courses that are college credit bearing will be graded based on the protocols from the associated college. 

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