Grades FAQ

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. 

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

How late can late work be turned in? What are the deadlines?

The new policy states removing points from academic grades for participation, behavior, or turning in an assignment past a due date are not allowed. 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 and input data prior to the end of the grading period. The following deadlines apply for each department below:

  • Electives - 1 week prior
  • English - 1 week prior
  • Physical Education - 2 weeks prior
  • Math - 1 week prior
  • Science - 2 weeks prior
  • Social Studies - 2 weeks prior
  • Special Education 1 week prior (note: this date applies to students enrolled in Special Education classes, not students with disabilities enrolled in general education classes)

All deadlines are measured from the last day of the end of the semester or quarter. Progress report grades are not impacted by this since a progress report grade is not permanent and is not represented in a child's academic history. Late work turned in before a progress report may not be included in the progress report grade itself but will be reflected in the final semester grade.

What type of work can and cannot be revised?

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. Only D and F grades on major assignments are eligible for revision. A grade of C or higher is evidence the student has met standards.

Where can I find the SDUSD Parent FAQ regarding grading policies?

The district developed a parent FAQ regarding grading. Click this link to access the document.

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:

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.

E -Exceed Standards - 3.0
M - Meet Standards - 2.0
I - Inconsistant - 1.0
U - Unsatisfactory - 0.0

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?

The Citizenship grade options for students in SDUSD secondary schools have changed for 2021-22. Traditional grades such as E,G,S,N, and U have been replaced with the following:

  •  E – Exceeds - Consistently exceeds expectations in work completion, preparation, and participation, and actively contributes to the learning experiences of their peers
  •  M – Meets - Consistently meets expectations: completes work on time, prepared to learn, participates regularly, shows respect for others, and contributes to building a positive community
  •  I – Inconsistent - Inconsistently meets expectations: occasionally completes work on time, not always prepared to learn, participates irregularly, and rarely works well with others
  •  U – Unsatisfactory - Does not meet expectations: work is habitually late, not prepared to learn, does not participate, and does not work well with others

Only students who go above-and-beyond in their citizenship (as described in the citizenship rubric) would earn a G in citizenship. 

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. 

 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

Click this link to view eligibility requirements.

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.

Where can I learn more about district shifts in grading policies?

Please follow this link for more information.


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