The reporting of academic progress is governed by District 401's policy on grading and promotion, as stated in Section 6:280 of the Board of Education's Policy Manual.
According to this policy, every teacher shall maintain an evaluation record for each student in the teacher's classroom. A District administrator cannot change the final grade assigned by the teacher without notifying the teacher.
Reasons for changing a student's final grade include:
- A miscalculation of test scores
- A technical error in assigning a particular grade or score
- The teacher agreeing to allow the student to do extra work that may impact the grade
- An inappropriate grading system used to determine the grade
- An inappropriate grade based on an appropriate grading system
If a grade is changed, the administrator making the change must sign the changed record.
In accordance with District policy, each school has formulated a grading system. The grading systems for the District's elementary schools, middle school and high school are located below.
District 401 has transitioned to standards-based grading (also known as standards-based reporting) for K-8.
Report cards using this approach are issued each trimester.
How We got Here
The implementation of standards-based grading comes after several years of preparation that laid the groundwork for these changes.
During 2019-20, a group of teachers from Elmwood Elementary and John Mills Elementary piloted the new report cards with a portion of the K-5 student body. At the same time, multiple public forums were held to familiarize parents with the new way of assessing student learning.
All of this followed two years of work by the District's Standards-Based Grading Committee, which met monthly to develop a standards-based report card for those grade levels. The committee focused on the importance of developing a tool that would communicate with parents, students and staff a measure of a student's academic and behavioral progress that goes significantly beyond a traditional "letter grade" report card.
In 2023-24, standards-based grading is now all students K-8.
What Is Standards-Based Grading?
Standards-based grading communicates how students perform on a set of clearly defined learning targets called "standards."
The purpose of standards-based grading is to identify what a student knows, or is able to do, in relation to these learning targets, as opposed to simply averaging grades or scores over the course of a grading period.
Once in place, the new system will provide detailed information about how a student is progressing toward standards in specific content areas.
A standards-based report card communicates much more than an "A," "B" or "C" about a student. Instead of traditional letter grades, standards-based grading uses numbers on a proficiency scale of 1 to 4. These scores indicate the extent to which a student is on track to meet all applicable end-of-the-year learning standards.
What the Numbers Mean
It's important to keep in mind that the numbers in a standards-based report card do not correlate with letter grades.
In a proficiency scale, the numbers 1-4 indicate the following levels of performance:
- 1 means "Below Grade-Level Standards"
- 2 means "Developing Grade-Level Standards"
- 3 means "Meets Grade-Level Standards"
- 4 means "Exceeds Grade-Level Standards"
Using proficiency scales helps communicate to students that learning is a process.
Some concepts and skills are more difficult than others to learn. A score of 1 or 2 while learning a new skill or concept is appropriate and not intended to be punitive. A score of 3 is the target; it shows proficiency and is to be celebrated! A score of 4 indicates a student has reached proficiency and applied knowledge beyond the grade-level standard.
Standards-based grading measures a student's mastery of grade-level standards by looking at recent and consistent performance.
A student who may have struggled at the beginning of a grading period may still demonstrate mastery by the end of the grading period.
This differs from traditional grading, where a student's performance for the entire quarter is averaged together and students are graded on something they used to not know rather than on their present level of performance and knowledge.
Work Habits and Behavior
Standards-based report cards separate academic performance from work performance and behavior in order to provide parents a more accurate view of a student's progress.
Effort, participation, cooperation, attendance and homework completion are reported separately.
Again, this differs from traditional grading, where factors such as late work, homework completion and behavior during an activity could be combined as part of an overall average.
Remember, Numbers Don't Equal Letter Grades
As the District implements the new report cards, it's important for parents and students to understand that the numbers used in standards-based grading do not correspond to letter grades. Specifically:
The 1-4 scale should not be compared to the traditional A-F grading scale.
A mark of “3” cannot be considered a "B," nor should a “4” be considered an "A."
The "Meets Grade-Level Standards" score of 3 shows that a student is performing at grade level. If that performance is maintained, the student will meet the end-of-year standard.
Standards-based grading measures the mastery of multiple learning targets. A student's performance is measured against those standards rather than against the performance of other students. The goal is for everyone to meet or exceed the standards.
To indicate scholastic progress, Elmwood Park High School uses the grades and percentage ranges listed below.
|Withdrawn - Pass
|Withdrawn - Fail
Grades are weighted by assessment type per course.
Regular level course
70% summative assessments
30% formative assessments
Honors level course
80% summative assessments
20% formative assessments
Advanced Placement & Dual Credit course
90% summative assessments
10% formative assessments
1. Grades are determined by components of performance evaluated throughout the course, which may include but are not limited to:
2. The grade in a quarter-long course is determined by the following:
- 80% of quarter term + 20% of exam term
- (Seniors with a letter grade of "B" or above may be exempt from the quarter exam at the teacher's discretion.)
3. The grade in a semester-long course is determined by the following:
- 40% of first quarter Term + 10% of first exam term
- 40% of second quarter term + 10% of second exam term
- (Seniors with a letter grade of "B" or above may be exempt from the quarter exams at the teacher's discretion.)
In the event a student is unable to complete coursework due to special circumstances, a teacher or administrator may choose to issue a grade of "I" — an incomplete for a class.
If an incomplete is needed, the teacher will prepare the appropriate Incomplete Grade Agreement, which will be signed by the student and teacher.
This contract will include a specific plan to finish the course work and a timeline upon which this will be completed. The parent will be notified of the arrangement as well. A copy of the signed contract will be kept by the student, teacher and counselor.
It is the responsibility of the student to complete the expected work according to the agreed-upon timeline. If the contract is not completed, the grade of "I" may be converted to a grade of "F." In the absence of special circumstances, no grade of incomplete will be allowed to remain past the end of the following grade period.
Any student who fails a core class is strongly encouraged to attend summer school to earn credit and remain on track for graduation.
Grade Point Average
The grade point average for an EPHS student is computed by adding the grade points received in all subjects and dividing by the number of units attempted.
GPA is calculated at the end of each grading period. It is used to determine the honor roll for each grading period and the class rank.
EPHS courses are divided into three types: Advanced Placement (AP), Honors and Regular.
Different weights are assigned to the grades given in each type of course. The table located below lists the different weights.
|A = 6 points
B = 5 points
C = 4 points
D = 1 point
F = 0 points
|A = 5 points
B = 4 points
C = 3 points
D = 1 point
F = 0 points
|A = 4 points
B = 3 points
C = 2 points
D = 1 point
F = 0 points
Checking Progress with PowerSchool
Student progress may be viewed throughout the entire school year by logging into your PowerSchool account.
If you do not have your login information, please feel free to contact the Registrar's Office at 708-452-7272.
Issuance of Report Cards
Report cards are mailed at the end of the first semester and second semester.