Grading/Assessment Systems Regulation

Section I: Instructional Program

Regulation Title: Grading/Assessment Systems
Regulation Code: IKA-R

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Subject Grade: pupil mastery & reasonable teacher standard

The subject grade should be based upon pupil mastery of the content of the course. The teacher will establish a reasonable standard for average achievement in each of the subjects. If at any time the teacher is in doubt that this standard is either too high or too low, the teacher should discuss the matter with the principal.

Uniform system of grading

The teacher will establish a uniform system of grading. This system is based upon attainment of what the teacher requires.

Grade Distribution

Content of the course shall be set up to be measured by numerical percentages which are then transferred to letter or numerical equivalents. The following scale will serve as a guide for the distribution of grades but reasonable alternative letter grades may be approved at the District level:

Letter Grade Scale Numerical Scale
90-100 A 4
80-89 B 3
70-79 C 2
60-69 D 1
below 60 F 0
FAME Scale (used in grades K-5)
Exceeds 4
Meets 3
Approaches 2
Falls Far Below 1

Number of grades-grade entries/week

A minimum of two grades will be taken each week. Type of grade as consideration: formative and/ or summative scores.

Definition of:
Formative score - a score which provides information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which students are engaged.

Summative score - a score that represents a teacher’s evaluation of student learning.

Progress Grades

Progress grade means progress toward achievement of standards.

Old Report Card

New Report Card
Grades 6-12

Grades K-5

First Quarter Progress

Progress 1


First Quarter

Progress 2

1st Quarter Report Card

Second Quarter Progress

Progress 3


Second Quarter/ First Semester

Progress 4

2nd Quarter Report Card

2nd Semester


Third Quarter Progress

Progress 1


Third Quarter

Progress 2

Third Quarter Report Card

Fourth Quarter Progress

Progress 3


Fourth Quarter/Second Semester

Progress 4

Fourth Quarter Report Card

Homework may account for up to 20% of semester grade

The purpose of homework is to extend and enrich the learning beyond the classroom and practice for mastery of Arizona Standards /the TUSD curriculum.

Definition of HWwork that can be done independently for practice towards mastery may account for up to maximum of 20% of the semester grade.

Honor Roll Status

Honor Roll status is 3.50 on a 4.00 grading scale for students in 6th – 12th grade.

Grade Replacement

Upon teacher/administrator consultation and approval, grade competency replacement will be offered to students who need to demonstrate competency in the content standards assessed to date. This excludes the semester final.

In-School Same Subject Transfer Grade

Students may request permission to move into an existing course within the same subject area within the first progress report of each semester. If a grade is established in the current course, the established grade will transfer to the new course selected until the subsequent grades can be earned to replace the transfer grade. Teacher may administer an assessment in order for the student to demonstrate competency in the content standards to date.

Grading System Guidelines

The following should be observed in implementing a grading system:

  • The grading system should be consistent within the class for the entire year.
  • The student should understand the system thoroughly, such as, the content on which the grade for the course depends, the weight attached to various phases of the material, the manner in which the grade is devised, and the meaning of the final grade which is sent home as a report to the parent.
  • If a teacher from year to year consistently promotes classes with predominantly high or low scores for the majority of the pupils in each class, then such practice causes parental and pupil difficulties for the succeeding teacher. Teachers should look for trends in the grades given to students and take note if a large percentage of the class has predominantly high or low scores and consider re-evaluating their established grading system and student supports.
  • Work habits and conduct are two (2) areas that may be marked individually. Grades on basic subjects must not be awarded or upheld based upon disciplinary problems, work habits, or conduct.

Explanation of Report Cards

Report cards include an explanation of the system of marks used. The teacher should explain the marking system to the students.

Report Card Schedule

Cards are sent home according to a schedule which is developed at the beginning of the school year and is included in this regulation.

Appeal Process

In accordance with Governing Board Policy IKA, 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.

A parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student may file an appeal as follows:

  • The appeal must be filed within 15 calendar days of the last day of school or within 15 days of the end of the grading period.
  • The District will acknowledge receipt of the appeal request within 14 calendar days.
  • Written notice of the date the Governing Board will hear the appeal will be provided to the parent(s) at least five (5) calendar days prior to the hearing.
  • The hearing shall take place in executive session unless a parent or legal guardian of the student or the student (if emancipated) requests the hearing take place in an open meeting. If the hearing is conducted in executive session, the board shall notify the teacher of the date, time and place of the hearing and shall allow the teacher to be present at the hearing. If the teacher is not present at the hearing, the board shall consult with the teacher before making its decision.
  • The Governing Board will provide a written decision to the parent(s) or student of majority within 7 calendar days after the appeal hearing.

The parent, legal guardian, or emancipated student has the burden of proof to overturn the decision of a teacher to pass or fail the pupil. In order 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 pursuant to A.R.S §15-701.01.

If the governing board overturns the decision of a teacher, the governing board shall adopt a written finding that the student has mastered the academic standards. Any request, including the written appeal, the written evidence presented at the hearing and the written record of the hearing, including the decision of the governing board to accept or reject the teacher's decision, shall be retained by the governing board as part of its permanent records. A.R.S. 15-342(11).

Grade Point Average

Rank in class is required by colleges and universities on transcripts. Class ranking is determined each semester beginning with the first semester of the 9th grade, when total grade points begin accumulating. These are divided by total units taken to produce the grade point average. Students are then ranked according to straight grade point average (with a high of 4.0) and weighted grade point average (with a high of 5.0). Please note that Arizona Universities and many other Universities will unweight these grades.

Weighted Courses

Weighted Courses at Tucson Unified include Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), some Dual Enrollment courses including all Dual Enrollment CTE courses.

Weighted Grades

Weighted courses taken in the Tucson Unified Schools receive weighted grade point values because of higher expectations and greater rigor required in the work. Weighted grades are only granted when the student completes the entire year-long course. Otherwise, no weighted grade point value is applied. Grade point average (GPA) for transferring students is computed according to courses earning weighted grades at the receiving Tucson Unified school. Please note that Arizona Universities and many other Universities will unweight these grades.

Beginning in SY 2020-2021, grades will be weighted according to the following levels:

GPA Calculator



Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


























  • Level 1: Regular classes – required and electives
  • Level 2: Dual Enrollment courses that are required for an associates degree or certificate programs.
  • Level 3: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and Core Dual/Concurrent Enrollment courses required for a bachelors degree.

Reviewed: August 3, 2012 [Friday Report]
Revised: March 12, 2018 [Via Superintendent]
Revised: December 10, 2019 [Governing Board Review/Approval re weighted grades]

Cross Ref:
IKA – Grading Assessment Systems 
IKE – Promotion/Retention
IKE-R1 – Promotion, Retention, Acceleration and Appeal