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Assessment Policy

Tampa Catholic High School
Assessment & Grading Policy

The Diocese of St. Petersburg has adopted Standards Based Grading (SBG). SBG is a research based best practice that measures evidence of specific academic criteria directly related to learning standards.

A. Philosophy

We believe …

  • Our system of grading should be timely, specific, fair and accurate

  • Grades should be based on a well-defined set of standards

  • Grades should be an accurate measure of a student’s ability to demonstrate understanding

  • Students should have a clear understanding of learning objectives

  • Criteria that are not a direct measure of student learning, such as work habits and behavior, should be reported separately from the academic grade

  • Assessments are critical to the teaching and learning process

B. Purpose of Assessment

An assessment is defined as any instrument that is able to indicate or provide feedback on student achievement or performance. The purpose of assessment may be summarized as follows:

  1. To provide information to students in regard to their proficiency towards mastery of the standards. In addition it provides information for self-evaluation and the incentives to learn.

  2. To provide information to teachers on the students’ level of mastery of the content/skill.

  3. To allow teachers to use assessment data to plan instruction that will meet the needs of students.

  4. To communicate information to parents about student achievement and performance in school.

C. Types of Assessments

While assessments will take many forms and types, they will be grouped under two broad categories.

Formative

Whenever a student learns new material, he or she needs time to practice and gain familiarity with the material. It is expected that the student will make mistakes during this learning process. Any work done during this learning period is considered formative. The purpose of a formative assessment is not to judge a student’s final competency on a topic or unit, but to evaluate where he or she is in the learning process, diagnose any problems, and motivate and help the student learn the material. Formative assessments also inform the teacher of learning areas that may need reinforcement or re-teaching.

Summative

After a student has had sufficient instruction and practice on a topic, including assessments of a formative nature, it is then reasonable to judge mastery of understanding, content or skills. The purpose of a summative assessment is to evaluate how well a student knows and understands the material after sufficient engagement and practice with it.

Assessments are Formative or Summative based on their intended use and purpose and not by form. A quiz for example, may be formative if the teacher is having the students use new concepts to ascertain their level of understanding. A quiz would be a summative assessment if used at the end of a learning section or curriculum chunk after the students have had adequate instruction and practice. In the same way a trial test is formative, while an end of chapter test is summative. Projects contain both formative and summative elements. They include the ongoing nature of practice, reflective thinking and reworking, before the final summative rendition. Homework is mainly formative in nature as students get familiar with or reinforce what was learned in the classroom.

D. Purpose of Grades

A grade is a recorded score derived from an assessment or assessments. The purpose of grades may be summarized as follows:

  1. To provide information to students in regard to their proficiency towards mastery of the standards.

  2. To provide information to teachers on the students’ level of mastery of the content/skill.

  3. To communicate information to parents about student achievement and performance in school.

  4. To document student performance for transcripts and to evaluate the effectiveness of school programs.

E. The Grade Composition

In order to represent an accurate measure of what a student knows, understands and is able to do, the academic quarter grade needs to be based primarily on work that is evaluated for appropriate content, understanding and correctness, at a time when the student has had sufficient instruction and practice to be responsible for the material.  Summative assessments will therefore be the primary constituent of the quarter grade. They will account for no less than 80% of the quarter grade. Formative assessments will account for no more than 20% of the quarter grade.

No behavior and conduct attributes will be included in the academic grade. These attributes, if necessary to report, will be reported separately.

F. Reporting Grades

Individual assignments will be assessed using a 4-point achievement scale adapted from the work of Robert Marzano, a leading educational researcher. The rubric and scale below measures levels of achievement rather than the traditional accumulation and averaging of points.

During this transition phase to the 4-point scale a conversion scale from the percentage system will be available for use. Since the 4-point scale is rounded to the nearest 0.5, percentage scores are rounded to the nearest 5 points. (E.g. a rubric score of 3.2 is rounded to a 3.0; a percentage score of 88 is rounded to a 90). This rounding is only done once at the individual assignment level.

 SCALE

 DESCRIPTION

% Conversion

4.0

EXEMPLARY: In addition to 3.0 performance, the student provides evidence of deep understanding and fluent application of the target standards or expectations as well as the ability to apply and transfer learning to new situations.

95 - 100

3.5

Half point scores indicate student achievement that is partially demonstrated at the next highest level.

90

3.0

PROFICIENCY: No major errors or omissions regarding any of the target standards or expectations.

85

2.5

Half point scores indicate student achievement that is partially demonstrated at the next highest level.

80

2.0

BASIC: No major errors or omissions regarding the simpler details or processes of the target standards or expectations, but errors or omissions regarding the complex processes.

75

1.5

Half point scores indicate student achievement that is partially demonstrated at the next highest level.

70

1.0

BELOW BASIC: The student is beginning to address the simpler target standards and expectations.

60

0.5

Half point scores indicate student achievement that is partially demonstrated at the next highest level.

55

0.0

NO EVIDENCE: The student is unable to provide any evidence of addressing the target standards or expectations.

50

 

At the end of the quarter or marking period, the mean of all assessments (with appropriate weights) is matched to the table below for a letter grade and the awarding of corresponding quality/grade points on the report card.

 

SBG Range

Letter Grade

Quality Points

Percentage Range

(During transition only)

3.5 – 4.0

A

4.0

90 - 100

2.5 – 3.4

B

3.0

80 - 89

1.5 – 2.4

C

2.0

70 - 79

1.0 – 1.4

D

1.0

60 - 69

0.0 – 0.9

F

0.0

50 - 59

 

The Semester Grade is the aggregate of the two quarter grades and any semester assessment that may apply. This letter grade is derived from Table 2 above. The corresponding Quality/Grade points are also awarded accordingly from Table 2 at the end of each semester. Because semester exams represent a comprehensive understanding of the course material, they play the following additional role in determining the final semester grade.

A semester exam grade of one or two letter grades above the average of the two quarter grades will improve overall achievement by one letter grade. E.g. a student with a grade of C going into the semester exam who receives a B or an A on the exam will receive a B for the semester.

Revised: for 2016-2017 SY

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