Golden Valley Charter School

Assessment & Grading


Evaluation, Grading, and Assessment


Assigning grades

The grade awarded for each high school course represents the degree to which the student has mastered the content and standards being presented in the course. The parent/guardian is responsible for assigning, evaluating, and grading the daily work, assignments, projects, papers, and tests. While not every assignment must receive a letter or percent grade, it is essential that all assignments be reviewed by the parent/guardian in order to identify areas of misunderstanding or challenge to the student. The Education Facilitator (EF) reviews all student work at the learning record meetings; this work must include both graded and reviewed work. Towards the end of the semester, the EF will discuss the student’s grade and credits earned with parent, but as the credentialed teacher who is assigning the grades and credits, the final decision lies with the EF.


Grades are determined by evaluation of the student’s performance gathered from a variety of sources. The sources may include homework/practice work, daily or section quizzes (announced or not), chapter tests, essays/papers/reports, oral demonstrations, projects, mid-term tests, and a final exam/project.  For certain courses assessment methods and tools may include, but are not limited to, the use of oral and/or written quizzes and tests, norm and criterion referenced tests, student demonstrations/performances, student grades, student work samples, student self-evaluation, annual portfolio, monthly review of work, parent, student, instructor, and EF observations.


The final course grade is compiled from any/all of these sources. It is imperative that the weight of each component of the course be predetermined, so the student, parent, and EF are all clear on the expectations for grading in the course.


Homework/practice work – Consider giving credit/points for the completion of these types of assignments, rather than the ‘correctness’ of homework/practice work. Because homework/practice work is a place where mistakes are expected and learned from, it is the attempt that is most important, rather than the success. Additionally, homework/practice work is also often a time where students can extend their knowledge and try things out, so perfection is not expected nor required. A percent grade can be awarded based on the number of points earned for homework/practice work out of the number of points possible. This percent will carry a certain weight in the final grade for the course.


Projects, demonstrations, presentations, essays, reports – Similar to homework/practice work, consider awarding points for completing various steps in the processes, which, when added together, will determine a grade for the whole project/paper. For example, a research project may be worth 10 total points – 5 points for completing research from a variety of sources, making notes and outlines, 2 points for completing a draft, and 3 points for the accuracy and polished nature of the final result. A percent grade can be awarded for the project based on the number of points earned out of the 10 possible. This percent for this project (and any others assigned in the course) will then carry a certain weight in the final grade for the course.


Tests, quizzes, exams – Each may be worth a different total number of points. Figure the percent correct based on the total points available for each particular test, quiz, or exam. The point total available for each assessment depends on the number of questions/problems on the assessment and the number of points assigned to each problem. Then, the average of the tests, the quizzes and the exams will all carry a certain weight in the final grade for the course.


Unless otherwise specified, the grading criteria for courses where the grade is quantifiable, is as follows:


A = 90-100% mastery of content presented, all assignments and tests completed with an average of 90% or above

B = 80-89% mastery of content presented, all assignments and tests completed with an average of 80-89%

C = 70-79% mastery of content presented, all assignments and tests completed with an average of 70-79%

D = 60-69% mastery of content presented, all assignments and tests completed with an average of 60-69%

F  = Failure to master at least 60% of the content presented, assignments and tests completed with an average below 60%


For PE courses, unless otherwise specified, the grading criteria is as follows:

 A = Student demonstrates good sportsmanship and participates enthusiastically in all required activities.

 B = Student participates in all required activities.

 C = Student maintains an acceptable level of participation.



In each of their courses, GVCS high school students are required to be regularly assessed, through instruments such as quizzes, chapter tests, or end of unit tests. They are also required to complete a cumulative end of semester assessment, either by exam or project or paper. For some courses and curriculum options, there are tests/exams available. For example, many textbooks provide tests for evaluation purposes; these tests may be available from your EF. For some courses and curriculum options, the parent will be responsible for creating tests/exams. In all cases, the parent is responsible for correcting the student’s daily work, tests, projects, papers, and exams.


General factors to consider in making out a test:

  1. Fairness
  2. Instructions are clearly stated  
  3. Expected performance is understood 
  4. Method of grading is understood  
  5. Value of each problem is understood  
  6. Level of difficulty is not beyond homework/practice work (except for extra credit problems)
  7. Depth – all major concepts within a chapter are tested
  8. Breadth – various levels of difficulty within each topic are tested
  9. Number of questions to include
  10. Will the test be timed or untimed?
  11. Will the test be closed book or open-book?


Test item selection

In order to cover the depth and breadth of the concepts being tested, consider choosing questions from the chapter/unit review exercises. Even if the student has already completed some of these questions, the chances of him/her having memorized the answer are slim. Make sure to select some easier questions and some more challenging in order to get the broadest picture of the student’s mastery of the concepts.