Purpose:

  • To examine effective grading practices at the high school level.
  • To align practices around grading, effective feedback and assessment at the high school level.

Basis for establishment: 

  • Grading practices has been an ongoing topic of discussion across our high schools over the past several years.
  • During the 2018-19 school year a series of listening sessions were conducted with different stakeholder groups and the following themes emerged:
    • Students can experience different grading practices between the 8 classes they take.
    • There are inconsistencies in the use of the online grading system (Skyward).
    • Grading scales vary.
    • There are pockets of teachers implementing different grading practices.
    • There are different levels of support for professional learning and collaboration around grading practices between our four high schools.
    • We do not have a grading policy.
    • We have not communicated a district belief for grading practices at the high school level.

As a result, it was determined that a district wide task force should be formed to examine these areas of high school grading practices.

Decision-making process:

  • Task Force work will utilize processes of consensus and input/feedback, with clear communication to members and staff regarding the work.
  • The work will be consultative with the Department of Teaching and Learning.
  • The group will be a recommending body to the superintendent.

Plan of work: 

  • Review 2018-19 ad hoc notes and survey results (staff and community) to identify themes and target areas of greatest need.
  • Identify emerging issues and craft recommendations related to grading practices.
  • Investigate professional development needs.
  • Help inform a grading policy recommendation.

Members:

The task force will consist of 26-30 regular members, representing all four high schools. Members will be selected to include representation of grade levels, content areas, specialized groups and range of teaching experiences.

  • 9-12 Teachers
  • 4 High School level administrators
  • 2-3 counselors
  • 3 specialists, i.e. librarian, student success coordinator, etc.
  • 3 parents/community members
  • 2 student representatives
  • 1 Middle level administrator
  • 1 Department of Teaching & Learning representative

The task force will consist of ex-officio members who will serve as consultants and contributors to the process, as well as collaboratively partner in the oversight of the Task Force work.

  • Co-Chair: Executive Director of Teaching & Learning, Jay Jordan
  • Co-Chair: Director of Teaching & Learning, Trina Hall
  • Communications Manager, Dana Smith

Responsibilities: 

  • Regular meeting attendance and active participation the work of the task force.
  • Respectful and collaborative interactions with task force members.
  • Support of transparent process through regular communication with school staff on progress of task force according to speaking points generated at each meeting and in accordance with posted task force notes.
  • Support the involvement of all teachers by gathering input from school staff and families as determined and outlined by the task force.

Timeline:

  • 2018-19 school year: May 28, 2019, from 4 to  5:30 p.m.
  • 2019-20 school year: The Fourth Tuesday of every month from 4 to 5:30 p.m.
    • September 24, 2019
    • October 22, 2019
    • November 19, 2019
    • January 28, 2020
    • February 25, 2020
  • Other dates for sub-committee work to be determined as needed.

Budget Implications:

  • Possible implication for professional development needs.

Other:

In addition to parent representation on the task force, the involvement of parents and families will take place through the Superintendent’s Parent Advisory Committee to the Superintendent, as well as other family outreach for input through website announcements and PTSA meetings, etc.