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Grades FAQ

What is the difference between a Progress Report and a Report Card?
We developed a GPA Progress Report Job-Aid for parents. This document contains visual diagrams representing relationships between progress reports and report cards. The job aid also provides details on how to calculate academic and citizenship GPA. Click this link to view the GPA Progress Report Job-Aid for parents.

What is a GPA?

Grade Point Average (GPA) a measure of scholastic attainment computed by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number of credits of course work taken. GPA's are calculated every six weeks using the most recent grades awarded by your child's teacher.

What types of GPA's are used at Dana? What is a Citizenship GPA?

Dana uses two different types of GPA's, academic and citizenship. An academic and citizenship grade is reported for each class. The academic GPA represents school work. The citizenship GPA represents effort and behavior. Dana teachers use a Citizenship Rubric to determine a child's citizenship grade. Our Citizenship Rubric is available for download. Follow this link to download the document (look for Citizenship Rubric). 

How are GPAs calculated?

Each grade is assigned a number of points. The scale below is used to determine the number of points assigned for each grade:

Academic:
A - 4.0
B - 3.0
C - 2.0
D - 1.0
F - 0.0
NOTE: Plus and minus grades represent teacher comments. They are not recorded in your child's academic history and not part of the GPA calculation.

Citizenship:
G -Exceed Standards - 3.0
S - Meet Standards - 2.0
N - Not Meeting Standards - 1.0

Follow this link and view our Citizenship Grade rubric to learn how citizenship grades are awarded at Dana.

Your student earns an academic and citizenship grade for each class. A GPA reflects the average of these grades. This process can be complex because grades are weighted based upon the frequency the class meetings. Students spend twice the amount of time in a language arts class as they do for math or social studies. As a result, the language arts grade earns twice the value. Students spend half the amount of time in PE and science as they do in math or social studies. As a result, these classes earn half the value. We have developed a job-aid to help parents understand this process.

Are plus and minus grades worth more or less than standard grades?

No. According to SDUSD policy, a student receives credit for one of the following grades: A, B, C, D, or F. The plus or minus comment is used to help the student understand how close they are to receiving a different grade. In other words, as far as GPA's are concerned, a B+ is the same as a B-.

How are Citizenship grades awarded? How do I interpret my grade?
Our staff redesigned the Dana Middle Citizenship rubric in the spring of 2018. One key factor was to support the expectation that all students should meet the standard and only a few would exceed it.

The decision to calibrate our expectations for citizenship grades was based upon the “Growth Mindset” work completed by Dr. Carol Dweck. The idea was that telling students that anything less than “Exceeds Standards” is less than acceptable reinforces the fixed mindset we are trying to avoid promoting in our children.

 Dana Middle School adopted a three-point citizenship rubric.  You may only assign a “G”, “S” or “N”.  Our staff agreed that students would begin with an “S” in citizenship.  Only students who go above-and-beyond in their citizenship (as described in the citizenship rubric) would earn a G in citizenship. 

 As adults, we are responsible for holding honest conversations with each other regarding our children. Difficult conversations help everyone gain a clearer perspective of the situation and understand what they can do to improve it. 

Follow this link to download our Citizenship Rubric.

Why is the Citizenship GPA important?
We use citizenship GPA to determine if you can participate in the following events:

  • Rewards Assemblies
  • ASB Dances
  • 6th Grade Field Day

When are progress reports and report cards distributed?
Please view our calendar for progress report and report card distribution dates for the current school year.

The district implemented a new grading policy. What does this mean?

On October 20, 2020 the SDUSD School Board adopted a new grading policy for secondary schools. Effective Monday, November 2, 2020 all secondary teachers will remove non-academic factors from academic grades and provide opportunities for retakes and revisions. 

Examples include awarding or removing academic points for participation, behavior, or turning in an assignment past a due date. Turning in late work may impact a child’s citizenship grade. Teachers will still have due dates and final turn-in deadlines will be identified to provide teachers with the time required to grade an input data prior to the end of the grading period. 

There are limits to what a child can revise and the frequency in which they can do this. The revision policy is designed to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate they meet a specific standard. For example, a student who fails a test can retake it for a better grade. A student who already demonstrated they meet the standard with a B will not be eligible to retake the test to earn an A.

Certain elements of the grading policy adopted by the SDUSD School Board are designed to be implemented over the next two years. Additional information regarding these changes will be shared as they become available.

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