Common Grading Practices
Grades for students enrolled in the Omaha Public Schools are based on achievement of content standards, which specify what students should know and be able to do. Standards are the same across schools and classrooms for the same courses in the Omaha Public Schools. These common grading practices are intended to ensure students have the knowledge and skills necessary for the next level of a course, the next grade or readiness for college or career.
Common grading practices provide specific, clear learning goals for families, teachers and administrators of what a student must know and be able to do to master the content of a course. They allow teachers to be consistent with grading and provide clarity for students and families as to what the grading criteria and expectations.
There are three types of coursework given to students. Coursework may be expected to be completed during class time or outside of school. The types of coursework are:
- Practice (0%) assignments are brief. They are done to learn a new skill or to gain initial content knowledge, (e.g., student responses on white boards). Practice assignments are not generally graded for accuracy and are not a part of the grade. Practice work is at the student’s instructional level.
- Formative (35%) assessments/assignments are done for learning. They are minor assignments, (e.g., a three-paragraph essay, written responses to guiding questions over an assigned reading). Formative assignments are graded for accuracy. Students may receive descriptive feedback which provides necessary information to improve their learning. Formative work is at the student’s instructional level and/or grade level standards. It is suggested to have three to five formative assessments for every one summative assessment. Formative assessments may be assigned to be completed at home or at school.
- Summative (65%) assessments/assignments are major end of learning unit tests or projects, (e.g., a research paper, an oral report with multimedia, science fair project). Summative assignments are graded for accuracy. Summative assignments assess the student’s progress on grade level standards. Summative assessments may be assigned to be completed at home or at school.
Assignment Grades and Grade Calculations
Teachers will grade students’ work using common grading practices. Student assignments/assessments are scored based on rubrics. Students’ proficiency is based on a district-wide proficiency scale. Proficiency Scales are broadly written to allow teachers to use the same scale for multiple assignments/projects.
Teachers will place scores for formative and summative coursework in Parent/Student Portal that are weighted at 35% of the final grade for formative and 65% of the final grade for summative. The final score for each of these categories will then be averaged to obtain the student’s final grade.
At the end of a grading period, the final scores in the formative and summative categories will be used to determine a student’s overall grade for the course. The overall grade will be determined using the Omaha Public Schools Grading Scale.
Secondary Proficiency Scale
Level of Performance
3.26 – 4.00
2.51 – 3.25
1.76 – 2.50
1.01 – 1.75
0.00 – 1.00
Weighting Assignments (Using a Multiplier)
When entering grades in the grade book, teachers may assign greater weight to some assignments. For example, the final exam may impact a student’s summative grade more than a unit test. Teachers will have the option to use a whole number multiplier to weight both formative and summative assessments to a maximum of four. If a weight of two or more is applied to an assessment, this information will be communicated to students prior to the day of the assessment.
Coursework that is expected to be completed at home should average no more than ten minutes per day times the student’s grade level. These minutes reflect the total minutes of coursework per day for all subjects. This is a broad estimate that will vary drastically depending on the courses taken, the speed of completion of tasks, student ability to work independently outside of class, the number of study halls, and the amount of time provided in class for coursework.
Students may be allowed redos and revisions of coursework for full credit during that unit of study based upon the teacher’s professional judgment and evidence collected throughout the unit. Scores for student work after retaking, revising, or redoing work will not be averaged with the first attempt at coursework or assessment, but will replace the original student’s score.
Work not turned in at all will be recorded in Parent/Student Portal as an M for missing which calculates to a score of zero.
Students are expected to complete coursework on time. Late coursework may be accepted for full credit until the end of the unit based on teacher’s professional judgment and evidence collected throughout the unit.