Grading Policy

Preparedness, Initiative, and Engagement

The report card is designed to represent both a student’s mastery of academic material (indicated by course letter grades) as well as their behavioral growth and development (indicated by the reporting of behavioral indicators). The following policies are in place to ensure that the gradebook is an accurate reflection of a student’s achievement.

Students are required to complete all assigned work. Taking a zero is not an option. When a student does not completed an assignment, in addition to marking a zero and an M (missing) in the gradebook, the teacher will arrange a time for the student to come in and complete the work. Teachers are free to have students miss extracurricular activities for this purpose. Study hall is also available Monday-Thursday. Students may also be required to spend the lunch break working on missing assignments.

In all classes, scores for participation or effort will be noted in the Habits of Learning portion of the report card and should not factor into the course grade. This includes penalties for late work, participation in class discussions, etc. There may be an exception in some non-core classes that are participation based, such as band and P.E. Although there are many Habits of Learning that are beneficial in an Education for Life, we are focusing on three in the middle school years: preparedness, initiative, and engagement.

Grades for Habits of Learning are based on frequency, not quality. How often does a student show this habit? The three possible marks are Always, Usually, and Rarely. Students should not expect to get an “Always” in any or every category. Very few young middle school students are always prepared, and very few older middle school students always show initiative. A mark of “Usually” indicates an acceptable level of this habit for the student’s age. A mark of “Rarely” indicates that this is a particular challenge for the students and attention should be given to improving in this area.


  • on time for class
  • absences are properly documented in advance and are followed up thoroughly
  • prepared with all materials
  • prepared to work on arrival to class
  • assignments and homework are complete
  • assignments and homework are handed in on time


  • assesses and reflects critically on own learning strengths, needs and interests
  • identifies learning opportunities, choices, and strategies to meet personal needs and achieve goals
  • demonstrates a genuine desire to learn and to share ideas through participation and inquiry
  • initiates discussion, asking significant questions, and acting as an effective leader in groups
  • takes intellectual risks, asserts opinions, and supports them
  • perseveres and makes an effort when responding to challenges


  • attentive and actively engaged listens carefully to instructions and feedback
  • listens actively and respectfully to others
  • works with care and attention to detail; work shows thorough examination and revision
  • demonstrates focused long-term planning to complete tasks
  • seeks clarification or assistance when needed