New Grading System

Nelsen Has A New Grading System


Welcome to a new and exciting school year!  We are looking forward to working with your student this year as they continue to grow and develop.  As you are aware, the State of Washington has specific standards that determine the curriculum in the classroom.  In an effort to measure your child’s progress towards meeting these standards, we have adjusted our grading policies.  The new policy will break your child’s grade in each class in to three categories:


  1. Academic Progress towards Standards
  2. Effort
  3. Community Skills


Each student will receive a grade of 1,2,3, or 4 for each category based on how they measure against the standards in each category.  This will replace our A-F grading system that most of you are familiar with.  We hope this information will be more valuable in helping you assess where your child is in relation to the standards.  I know that many of you will have questions, so I anticipated some of them below.


Question: How do I know what a 1,2,3 or 4 are?

Answer: I have enclosed a sample report card for you to look at, which includes the definitions.  This is still a draft, but I wanted to give you to opportunity to see what it may look like.


Question: How does the 1-4 system compare to the A-F system?  For example, does a “4” equal an “A?”

Answer: The target grade for our new system is a “3,” which is meeting standard.  A student will need to show a deeper understanding of the standard in order to receive and “4,” therefore, a “4” does not equal an “A.”


Question: My student used to get mostly “Bs” in the past, now they are receiving “2s.”  What does that mean?

Answer: A “2” means that your child is not consistently meeting standards of the classroom assessment.  I recommend that you contact your child’s teacher or counselor to inquire about ways to help your child make consistent progress toward standards.


Question: I see my student has 75% in the class. How can they increase the percentage?

Answer: This may be confusing.  You can ignore the percentage when looking at the grade book.  The target for your child is a “3,” even though the grade book will equate that with 75%.  We are currently working with the grade book company to eliminate the percentage calculation from the grade.


Question:  How do you determine the academic grade?

Answer: The assessment grade is determined by assessments or projects completed by the students in class independently.


Question: How do you determine the citizenship and effort grades?

Answer: Citizenship and Effort grades are determined by a variety of non-assessment factors.  More detailed information can be found on the sample report card.