The New Grading Policy – What You Need to Know


Sam Hwang, Education Editor

A lot has changed since the pandemic, and these changes have now extended to even the grading policy. Through a series of district wide reforms, Clark County School District intends to promote student success and adopt a grading policy embodying its core values of “equity, accountability, and high expectations for all students.” The goal of the reforms is to “ensure students’ grades more accurately reflect their knowledge and skills by minimizing the impact of non-academic factors by reporting these separately.” CCSD’s written statements are admirable, but it is important that all parents, teachers, and students understand what they mean in terms of application.

To meet these ends, the following changes have been made to the grading policy:

  1. Summative grades are worth 90% of the overall grade; formative grades are worth 10% of the overall grade. Summative grades are those designed to measure understanding of a topic, and they include tests, projects, final essays, semester exams, presentations, etc… Formative assessments include tickets-out the door, collaborative work, demonstrative work in class, and other items that have been associated with “homework.”
    In addition to these changes, no extra credit can be given. 
  2. A “minimum F” policy has been implemented, meaning that the lowest score a student can receive on anything is a 50%. The new grading scale is as follow:
    A: 90-100 (Excellent)
    B: 80-89 (Above Average)
    C: 70-79 (Average)
    D: 60-69 (Emergent)
    F: 50-59 (No evidence)
  3. The removal of “behavior” from the grading process. Only the summative and formative grades that demonstrate a student’s understanding of the content will contribute toward grades. There are no penalties for late work, responsibility, participation, etc. Instead, these are reflected in a separate “citizenship grade.”
    However, work must still be turned in 1 week before progress and quarter grades are released. The specific due dates are up to teacher discretion. 
  4. There is an allowance of retakes for students who scored below 75%. These re-assessments can be taken up to one week after the initial assessment, and the student can earn up to a 75% on the re-assessment. Only the highest grade out of the initial score and retake score will be put into the grade book. 

The changes made to Clark’s grading policy and all of the schools in CCSD grant students more control over how and when they choose to do their work. It also provides them with opportunities for improvement if they fail a test or summative assessment, which serves as a counterbalance to the fact that summative grades are worth 90% of the overall grade. Although the remaining 10% devoted to homework and practice opportunities may seem to be a negligible amount, it is imperative that every student completes their work to ensure they can perform well on the summative assessments. 

Although the new policy appears to be generous and more understanding of failure, the same core principles for success still apply. For students to succeed, they must continue to be dedicated and hardworking; ultimately, a student’s success under any grading policy depends on their own motivation and will to succeed.