Grading/Assessment Systems

Section I: Instructional Program

Policy Title: Grading/Assessment Systems
Policy Code: IKA

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Assessment and evaluation of student progress is of primary importance in all District schools. The challenge is to balance the need for on-going assessment for instructional purposes with reporting student progress/achievement by giving a grade.

Teacher Grading Authority

The authority for determining progress/achievement, assigning grades, and granting or withholding credit for individual courses shall rest with the teacher of the student.

District Grading Standards

In making such determinations, teachers will be guided by standards set forth by the District which include the following:

  • Progress grades shall be based on the accomplishment of Arizona Standards appropriate to the grade level or subject area.
  • At all levels within our school system teachers are expected to utilize the TUSD curriculum to identify what students are to learn and the criteria by which they will measure that learning.
  • Assessments which measure progress toward the final outcome should be utilized prior to assigning a final grade.
  • Assessments of learning which document achievement at a particular point in time will be utilized to determine final grades for reporting.
  • Assessments and grading should provide information that students can use for self-evaluation in order to determine the next steps for their learning and which teachers can use for their support of learning.
  • Additional standards in the areas of participation may be established and taken into consideration when determining grades.
  • District-developed grading systems which are appropriate for elementary, middle school and high school students will be established and utilized.
  • Teachers will keep a complete and accurate record of the grades assigned to students.

Written Reports every 9 weeks

Written reports to the parents concerning student achievement will be made every nine (9) weeks by the teacher, and additional written reports will be made when necessary.

Content of Written Reports

Teachers will report to parents on student progress toward meeting and/or exceeding academic standards, students’ conduct, scholarship, attendance and tardiness.

Special Education Grading Standards

Grades reporting achievement of special education students not taking regular education classes shall be given on a basis commensurate with the students' abilities and based on their individual progress rather than in competition with classmates.

Special Education Record Keeping

The permanent record cards for such students shall indicate enrollment in special education for those classes.

Parent counseling required

Parents of special education students shall be counseled regarding the significance of the grading system in order to avoid misinterpretation of the achievement grade.

Reviewing and Overturning Grades

Only the Governing Board has the authority to overturn the decision of the teacher of a middle or high school course, to pass or fail a student.

The student has the burden of proof to establish that the teacher's decision should be overturned. To sustain the burden of proof, the student shall demonstrate to the Governing Board that the student has mastered the academic standards adopted by the state board of education and district. If the Governing Board overturns the decision of a teacher to fail a student, then it shall adopt a written finding that the student has mastered the academic standards.

Any review of a teacher's decision to pass or fail a student shall occur in executive session, unless a parent or legal guardian of the student or the student, if emancipated, disagrees and then the review shall occur in an open meeting. If the review occurs in executive session, then the board shall notify the teacher of the date, time and place of the review and shall allow the teacher to be present. If the teacher is not present at the review, then the board shall consult with the teacher before making its decision.

The written evidence presented at the review and the written record of the review, including the decision of the Governing Board to accept or reject the teacher's decision, shall be retained by the Board as part of its permanent records.

Adopted: March 27, 2012
Revised: February 13, 2018

LEGAL REF: 15-516 – Teacher Immunity
15-342 – Governing Board Discretionary Powers
15-767 – Annual Goals; Notification
15-701-- Common school: promotions; requirements;
15-701; Version 2 – Common school: promotions; requirements;
15-701.01 – High School; graduation; requirements

IKE – Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students