Shifts in Grading over the Past Century

Historically grades were used to measure compliance in schools and tended to categorize children based on their perceived ability, but the purpose of grading in the United States has evolved over time. Grades today are a tool for communication and should reflect what students know and can do and not be merely a reflection of their effort.

With the shift in the purpose of grading, the LTHS grading scale has been adjusted to be more fair by being proportionate. Rather than a failing grade being a 0 - 59%, the failure category will be equal to the other grading categories wherein A = 90 - 100%, B = 80 - 89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60 - 69% and F = 50 - 59%. Thus, parents will no longer see zeros in the grade book as this has a disproportionately negative impact on a student's overall grade and gives them little chance to recover and earn credit in a course.

The lowest grade a student may receive for not attempting the task is 45%. Once a student attempts a task, the lowest percentage they may receive is 50%. With this shift, a single missed assignment will no longer disproportionately bring down a student's grade. This shift will make grades more accurate.

The Purpose of Assignments and Essential Evidence

t is important for a student to attempt all work as this is evidence for the teacher to determine the next best steps as they provide instruction to their classes. Furthermore, it is the compilation of this coursework that truly helps a teacher know of a student’s overall progress. Teachers will communicate to students and parents the class expectations at the beginning of the semester. Teachers plan the best ways to support students to enable them to meet the standards of each required task. With the shift in grading, there may be essential evidence that is required for a student to be eligible to pass a class. The students’ demonstration of their understanding and/or skill is weighed in addition to the points and grades they earn. This is termed in education as “Essential Evidence.” Parents/guardians may see codes in Infinite Campus in addition to letter grades that reflect their child’s completion of coursework demonstrating Essential Evidence. The following notations may appear:

  • An M signifies that a student has not attempted an assignment and may still submit this work to the teacher, unless a Z appears in the comment section or if the date by which an assignment can be accepted has passed.

  • Traditional grades of A,B,C,D,F are used in Infinite Campus. An NG or No Grade will appear at the end of the semester if a student has not submitted enough work for the teacher to adequately determine if the student has met the standards of the class. In this case, the student will not earn credit.

  • An asterisk * on the name of an assignment means that the students must submit this assignment to show evidence of their understanding to be eligible to receive credit in the class. This is essential evidence.

The graphics at the bottom of this page depict how these notations would appear in Infinite Campus.

Grades Provide Feedback

Grades provide feedback as an essential part of effective learning. This feedback helps students understand the subject being studied and gives them clear guidance on how to improve their learning. Mistakes are part of learning. Teachers and teacher teams may provide students opportunities for retakes, redos, and retesting to allow students to demonstrate higher levels of mastery. Parents and guardians are encouraged to ask their students about these opportunities and encourage them to take advantage of them. Frequently, a student’s first attempt at learning is not the best evidence of their understanding. Offering additional opportunities for students enables them to demonstrate what they have learned, especially when it can demonstrate a higher level of mastery.

End of the Semester

There will be a three-day alternate schedule at the end of the semester for students to demonstrate their understanding and retention of coursework.through a culminating course experience. Teacher course teams will determine the means by which they measure students’ knowledge and the value of that measure in the overall composition of the final grade. The alternate schedule is created to help reduce students’ stress by decreasing the number of traditional exams students may have on one day. Students will find out information about whether this day will be used for traditional testing, written and oral presentations, or other performance measures from their classroom teachers.

Student Advocacy

It is always best for the student to communicate with a teacher first about their learning, assignments, concerns, or questions. Parents and guardians should feel free to connect with a teacher on how to best support their student in their learning. Classroom teachers can provide the best insight on student strengths and opportunities for growth in the specific class content and skills.

Depictions of Notations as they appear in Infinite Campus

From left in Infinite Campus, select "Grades," then click on the “Semester Grade” line


Expand out the assignment for detail


Below is an example of an assignment that is missing but can still be submitted. Note the 4.5/10 is the equivalent of the automatic 45%, scaled appropriately for this assignment weight of 10 points


Below is an example of the same assignment, but it has been marked with a “Z” meaning the student can no longer attempt it.