School-wide Grading Policy


The Ralph Bunche School—P.S. 125 report card is based on curriculum standards. This report card: Aligns with the core curriculum students are learning. Provides teachers with resources to communicate a more exact and consistent assessment. Provides parents/caregivers with comprehensive information about how their child is learning. Incorporates research-based best practices in student grading and reporting. Is completed electronically by teachers.


The purpose of any system of reporting to parents/caregivers is to strengthen the home-school partnership and to inform parents/caregivers concerning student progress. The degree to which parents/caregivers are informed of the philosophy of the New York City Department of Education, its programs, and the assessment of students’ strengths and weaknesses is important in establishing a positive attitude toward school and a cooperative relationship between school and home. Assessments should be straightforward with teacher judgments based on objective data. The K-5 reports cards reflect the instructional level of students. Report cards should be communicated in terms understood by those involved. The main objective of an elementary report card is to communicate to parents/caregivers what students know and are able to do. The Ralph Bunche School—P.S., 125 takes this mission very seriously, and is committed to providing the best possible information to parents/caregivers. Research shows that student success is highly correlated with family involvement in school progress. Standards-based grading is a way to communicate what students know at a point in time rather than an average of performance over an entire period. It measures a student’s performance according to the standards taught rather than comparing student progress to other students. Instruction is planned, implemented, and assessed using state and city guidelines. Student progress is evaluated every quarter based on skills within each standard for the specific grade level based on expectations for the curriculum taught during that period of time. Effort and academics are reported separately so the parents/caregivers know the effort of the student as well as understanding of specific skills. Individualized comments will continue to be an important part of parent/caregiver communication on the standards-based report card. Grades on the elementary report card can assist parents/caregivers in making informed decisions regarding course selection at the middle school level.

Use of Numbers

Standards-based reporting clarifies what a student knows and can do related to grade-level and content expectations. This process allows students and parents/caregivers to have a clear picture throughout the school year, and creates a fair and consistent system that supports best practices for planning, teaching, and assessment. A standards-based system supports achievement at high levels for all students by differentiating needs and individualizing instruction at all levels. This information provides a clear picture for planning instruction that supports and challenges all students. It allows parents/caregivers to understand areas in which their student meets expectations as well as those in which the student may need extra challenge or support.

Guidelines for Assigning Grades

Academic achievement may be measured in a variety of ways, including compositions, presentations, oral discussion, student work samples, observations, tests, and the products of project-based learning activities. Teachers should use the most current summative assessment data when determining achievement marks for the report card. When determining what marks to use on daily and weekly assignments, remember that these marks should not conflict with the grades on the report card. Teachers should not use subjective statements like good, excellent or poor when marking papers. One option might include: Written feedback Rubric scores (if using 4, 3, 2, or 1 on papers, there should be guidance as to what these marks mean) Keep in mind that work that is sent home provides parents/caregivers with a general impression of how students are achieving in school but does not provide a complete picture. Other assessment data are collected that encompasses the report card grade and some of these assessments are not sent home. Communication regarding progress should be ongoing. Homework can be considered as part of the Academic and Personal Behaviors grade, but would not be used to grade academic achievement in elementary school since the function of homework is to provide practice in skill areas.

Report Card Grades

Report card marks will be reported on a 4-point scale and cannot be equated to former guidelines for letter grades. A grade of “4” indicates a high level of achievement (above grade level standards); it communicates that a student has a strong understanding of all the concepts and skills taught for that standard during the quarter and can demonstrate understanding independently and with very few errors. When determining grades for students, teachers should consider the most current assessment data as evidence of learning. Earlier assessments may no longer be relevant if students have demonstrated further progress.

4- Above grade level standards

• Consistently demonstrates concepts and skills of standard taught this quarter

• Frequency of behavior, nearly all the time

• Requires no support when demonstrating understanding

• Demonstrates a thorough understanding of content taught

• Makes no major errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes taught

3- Meets grade level standards • Usually demonstrates concepts and skills of standard taught this quarter • Frequency of behavior, most of the time • Requires limited support when demonstrating understanding • Demonstrates a general understanding of content taught • Makes few major errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes

2- Approaching grade level standards • Sometimes demonstrates concepts and skills of standard taught this quarter • Frequency of behavior, some of the time • Requires moderate support in order to demonstrate understanding concepts and skills • Demonstrates a partial understanding of content taught • Makes some errors or omissions when demonstrating concepts or processes

1- Below grade level standards • Seldom demonstrates concepts and skills of standard taught this quarter • Frequency of behavior, seldom • Requires considerable support to demonstrate learning of concepts and skills • Demonstrates limited understanding of concepts, skills, and processes taught • Makes frequent major errors when demonstrating concepts or processes