Grading Policy

Sandburg Middle School Grading Policy


In our Professional Learning Community, our focus is on student learning.  At Carl Sandburg Middle School, a student’s grade should communicate academic achievement: what the student knows and is able to do as measured against the learning standards of the course.  Assignments must be completed to accurately assess what a student knows and is able to do, so that appropriate feedback can be given to every student. Practice and/or preparation (homework/classwork) is essential for learning.  


All teachers of the same course (e.g. Algebra I HN, English 7) will have a common grading policy.   This will be stated in the course syllabus to be distributed by Back to School Night. Exams, major projects, and common assessments will be consistent and valued equally among similar courses.


Homework supports learning in several ways : pre-learning,  practice, or processing.  This is one kind of formative assessment.  All homework assigned throughout a quarter will be no more than 10% of a student’s grade.


We believe that the ideal consequence for not completing work is to complete the work. “M” for Missing will be recorded in the grade book. Teachers are encouraged to communicate with parents/guardians via email or phone, and to remind students of missing work to ensure successful completion. Students will have ten school days from the original due date to submit the missing assignments. Missing assignments will be assigned a failing grade of 50 percent.  In certain cases, teachers may choose to accept late/missing work until the end of the quarter. Students will receive a reduced grade of no more than 10% lower of their earned grade. Excused absences will have reasonable time to complete missing work for full credit. 


A student who earns below an 83% on an exam or major assessment has an additional opportunity to demonstrate improved learning, given that the student made a “good faith effort” on the original assessment. Reassessments should be taken within two weeks (10 school days) of the original assessment being returned to the students, and will be given during a time specified by the teacher. The maximum grade allowed on the reassessment is 83%. It is expected that students earning failing grades on assessments will be assigned opportunities to complete interventions and reassessments during return period or as otherwise specified. In order for a reassessment to be provided, students must complete the type of preparation needed to support their learning. This may include content review activities, quiz/test corrections, one-on-one teacher directed intervention, parental signatures, reassessment readiness checks, etc. as determined by the curriculum teams and indicated in the course syllabi.


Students are given multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery of skills and concepts; therefore, extra credit is not an expected component of any teacher’s assessments.  If a teacher chooses to offer extra credit, the assignment must go beyond information that was presented in class and must show that the student has worked independently to gain additional knowledge. Extra credit will not be provided for tasks or assignments unrelated to the curriculum.


Online gradebooks will be updated with a minimum of 9 grades over the course of the quarter.  Teachers will be expected to grade assignments and post grades to the electronic gradebook within 7 school days after the due date with the understanding that major projects/papers may require additional time to ensure quality feedback.  Teachers, students, and families will use SIS as the gradebook of record.