General Expectations of Assessment
Assessments are hereby defined as any activity that allows a teacher to determine a student's current understanding and anticipate next steps for instruction. Assessments can be both formal, such as exams, essays and projects, or informal such as classroom discussion, response to direct questions, class polls, etc.
Assessment at Fresno High is utilized to ensure students master content and skills, are able to apply their learning in new contexts, develop connections between subject areas, orient their knowledge to authentic real-world experiences and become accurate judges of their own strengths and areas of growth.
We assess students not to grade or sort them, but to create indicators of instructional need. Through assessments, further instruction is designed based on student needs. Additionally, students will use assessments to refine their skills, hone their understanding and extend their own learning in the subject areas.
In order to achieve these aims, formative and summative assessments, criterion-referenced rubrics and the student's best consistent effort will be used to determine success in a course. Students' own reflections are a meaningful part of this process. Teachers and students will work together to create an accurate picture of a student's progress.
Assessment will also reflect the core belief that learning is an application of higher-level thinking skills, not rote memorization or a series of disconnected tasks. Through the use of rubrics, both internal and those of IB, teachers will balance the content area knowledge necessary for mastery of the subject and the skills necessary for the demonstration of this knowledge. As such, we recognize that all teachers are teachers of literacy.
To ensure students are successful in all courses, classroom assessment will reflect the practice and principles of the formal assessment administered by IB or model performance-based tasks. These practices will be supported by the use of criterion, aims, and objectives agreed upon through collaboration by subject area Accountable Communities (AC).
Recording and Reporting of Grades
The process of grading a student and recording the grade as part of their permanent record will be done with great contemplation and care. Final marks will reflect our school-wide belief that all students have the ability to learn and achieve at a high level. A student's final mark in a course will be based on multiple measures of their learning and reflect their overall attainment in the subject. Teachers will convert rubric scores into points which will then be used to create the letter grade required by the state of California. Teachers will move away from pure averaging of grades, working to include holistic measures of attainment.
Students at Fresno High will receive eight official grade notices: four progress reports and four end-of-quarter reports. Progress reports will be issued approximately five weeks into each quarter. Students will be given these reports to take home for their parent or guardian's signature. End of quarter reports in second quarter and fourth quarter will be recorded as end of semester transcript grades and be maintained as part of the student's final, permanent record. These report cards will be mailed directly to the address on file. For ongoing progress and to keep track of a student's attendance, parents should use the Atlas system at http://m.fresnou.org/parents/. Parents may also choose to have their students' grades and attendance text to them on a daily basis with the EduText system. This is done through the Atlas Parent Portal to sign up.
Grade Scale and Grade Point Average
Generally speaking, students can expect a standard grading scale in their classes overall with those scores linked to criterion based rubrics. Any teacher not using the standard grading scale will note it in their course syllabus and include an explanation of the scale and their grading practices.
Standard Grading Scale
A = 90 – 100% B = 80 – 89% C = 70 – 79% D = 60 – 69% F = less than 60%
A student's grade point average (GPA) will be calculated at the end of each quarter, with the semester GPA becoming the final mark on the transcript. GPA points are calculated as follows: A = 4 pts. B = 3pts C = 2pts D = 1 pt F = No points
To calculate a GPA, points are added and then divided by the number of courses. GPAs in IB, AP and Honors courses receive a .04 augmentation in the final calculation of their GPA, but only for 8 semesters, per district policy.
Middle Years Classes (All Classes Grades 9-10)
Performance-based student work in the Middle Years Programme classes will be assessed using the subject guide rubrics provided by IB. Scores will reflect students' ability to achieve the grade descriptors for each rubric band.
Unlike the standard grade scale described above, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme used the following numerical scale in each individual subject area:
7 – Excellent 6 – Very good 5 – Good 4 – Satisfactory 3 – Mediocre 2 – Poor 1 – Very Poor
Additionally, the assessments for the Theory of Knowledge course as well as the Extended Essay follow a letter grade system as seen below:
A – Excellent B – Very good C – Satisfactory D – Mediocre E – Elementary