Quick Word on Science Grading

Dear Parents,

I just wanted to take a quick minute to explain how grades are weighted in science class. There are only two major categories of grades: Skills Checks and Summative Assignments.

Skills checks are quick measures of student learning that are designed to give me a sense for how well students are mastering key concepts in class. They are often spontaneously given — so your students won’t be studying for them at home or spending tons of time preparing for them. I use skills checks primarily as an information source to help me figure out how much more time we need to spend studying a concept.

They are recorded in the gradebook and count for only 10% of your child’s average. Recording them in the gradebook will give you the chance to see exactly how your children are doing on core concepts in science class. Weighting them at 10% of your child’s average, however, means that skills checks won’t significantly alter your child’s final grade.

Summative assignments are tasks that we spend a significant amount of time preparing for in class and at home. They include things like labs and projects. They also include things like tests and vocabulary quizzes. Because we spend a significant time preparing and reviewing for these tasks in class, they are WAY more important to determining your child’s final average. Summative tasks are weighted at 90% of your child’s average.

As an immediate example, we’ve had 2 skills checks and 3 summative assignments to date. That means each skills check is worth 5% of your child’s grade (10% divided by 2 assignments) and each summative assignment is worth 30% of your child’s grade (90% divided by 3 assignments).

And as a final reminder, students can rework any summative task that they make less than an 80% on — and can raise their grade up to an 80%.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter