BP 5121 – Grades/Evaluation Of Student Achievement

The Governing Board believes that grades serve a valuable instructional purpose by helping students and parents/guardians identify the student’s areas of strength and those areas needing improvement. Parents/guardians and students have the right to receive course grades that represent an accurate evaluation of the student’s achievement.

The teacher of each course shall determine the student’s grade. The grade assigned by the teacher shall not be changed by the Board or the Superintendent, except as provided by law, Board policy, and administrative regulation. (Education Code 49066)

Teachers shall evaluate a student’s work in relation to standards which apply to all students at his/her grade level. The Superintendent or designee shall establish and regularly evaluate a uniform grading system, and principals shall ensure that student grades conform to this system. Teachers shall inform students and parents/guardians how student achievement will be evaluated in the classroom.

Grades should be based on impartial, consistent observation of the quality of the student’s work and his/her mastery of course content and objectives. Students shall have the opportunity to demonstrate this mastery through a variety of methods such as classroom participation, homework, tests, and portfolios.

When reporting student grades to parents/guardians, teachers may add narrative descriptions, observational notes, and/or samples of classroom work in order to better describe student progress in specific skills and subcategories of achievement.

Progress reporting for students in the elementary grades will employ a standards-aligned format. Primary students, grades kindergarten through third, receive progress reports with numbers representing advanced, proficient, approaching, or below grade level standards. Intermediate students, grades fourth through sixth, receive letter grades denoting their progress on grade level standards. Teachers may also include narrative evaluations.

Unexcused Absences

If a student misses class without an excuse and does not subsequently turn in homework, take a test, or fulfill another class requirement which he/she missed, the teacher may lower the student’s grade for nonperformance.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Superintendent or designee shall recommend to the Board the methodology to be used in calculating students’ grade point averages.

Extra grade weight is assigned to a course that has been approved by the University of California as an honors course.

The Superintendent or designee shall also recommend to the Board whether extra grade weighting will be assigned for honors courses that are substantially similar in depth, breadth, and rigor to an Advanced Placement course, an entry-level college course, or a community college level course.

AR 5125.3 – Challenging Student Records

The custodial parent/guardian of any student may submit to the Superintendent or designee a written request to correct or remove from his/her child’s records any information concerning the child which he/she alleges to be any of the following: (Education Code 49070)

1. Inaccurate

2. An unsubstantiated personal conclusion or inference

3. A conclusion or inference outside of the observer’s area of competence

4. Not based on the personal observation of a named person with the time and place of the observation noted

5. Misleading

6. In violation of the privacy or other rights of the student

When a student grade is challenged, the teacher who gave the grade shall be given an opportunity to state orally, in writing, or both, the reasons for which the grade was given. Insofar as practicable, he/she shall be included in all discussions related to any grade change. In the absence of clerical or mechanical error, fraud, bad faith or incompetency, the student’s grade as determined by the teacher shall be final. (Education Code 49066)

Within 30 days of receiving a request to correct or remove information from a record, the Superintendent or designee shall meet with the parent/guardian and with the employee (if still employed) who recorded the information in question. The Superintendent shall then sustain or deny the allegations. (Education Code 49070)

If the parent/guardian’s allegations are sustained, the Superintendent shall order the correction or removal and destruction of the information. (Education Code 49070)

If the Superintendent denies the allegations, the parent/guardian may write within 30 days to appeal the decision to the Governing Board. Within 30 days of receiving the written appeal, the Board shall meet in closed session with the parent/guardian and the employee (if still employed) who recorded the information in question. The Board shall then decide whether or not to sustain or deny the allegations. If it sustains any or all of the allegations, the Superintendent shall immediately correct or remove and destroy the information from the student’s records. (Education Code 49070) The decision of the Board shall be final. If the decision of the Superintendent or Board is unfavorable to the parent/guardian, the parent/guardian shall have the right to submit a written statement of objections. This statement shall become a part of the student’s record. (Education Code 49070)

Both the Superintendent and the Board have the option of appointing a hearing panel to assist in making the decision. The hearing panel may be used at the discretion of the Superintendent or the Board provided that the parent/guardian consents to releasing record information to panel members. (Education Code 49070, 49071)

The right to challenge a record becomes the sole right of the student when the student becomes 18 or attends a postsecondary institution. (Education Code 49061)

At the beginning of each school year, parents/guardians shall be notified of the availability of the above procedures for challenging student records. (Education Code 49063)