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Grading Practices


Lexington County School District One believes that authentic grading and assessment practices support the learning process, encourage the success of all students, and result in student mastery of material.

The district’s grading and assessment practices support student learning, achievement and mastery of standards by connecting descriptive, timely, ongoing, and consistent teacher feedback directly to standards. Students benefit from frequent opportunities for practicing a standard, without being penalized, as they work toward mastery.

The district uses two types of assessments: formative and summative.


Formative Assessments

Formative assessments, or “minor assessments or practice,” come first. They are practice and do just what the term suggests — inform.

Teachers use observations, quizzes, initial drafts, homework, responses to teacher questions, minor labs, and other practice assignments to determine what each student has learned and to meet each child’s learning needs through instruction by providing specific and constructive feedback to students.

Formative assessments are aligned to the summative assessments in terms of skill, standard, rigor, and format and count 15% of the student’s final nine weeks grade.

Students receive timely, personalized and descriptive feedback. 

Quizzes have become a guide to learning, informing students on not only what they got wrong, but also a detailed description of where they went wrong and how to answer the question correctly. This feedback allows students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and guide their thinking on future assessments.

The goal is to personalize the learning for every student. Students who need the additional support structures receive them in the classroom with the opportunity to learn from formative assessments. Those students who move at a faster pace can prove first time mastery and receive extended learning opportunities.


Summative Assessments

Summative assessments are used to determine student mastery or “end performance” during or at the end of a unit of instruction, are aligned to course standards, and are aligned to previously administered formative or minor assessments.

Examples of summative assessments include tests, final drafts of writing assignments, projects, major labs, research papers, performance assessments, and presentations.

Students have a minimum of four summative assessments each nine weeks in middle school classes and in high school block schedule classes or year-long classes meeting daily. Students have a minimum of three summative assessments in classes meeting a few days a week all year.

Summative assessments count for 85% of the student’s final nine weeks grade.


Retake or Reassessment?

Because the focus is on student learning and mastery, students have an opportunity to retake certain summative assessments.

Students are provided guidelines in each class about the procedures for and opportunities to improve grades through retakes of assessments.  Teachers offer limited “choice” opportunities for full credit — as well as “recovery” options for partial credit based on the student’s demonstration of mastery.

Grading guidelines about retakes and extensions apply to middle and high school students. They will be applied as consistently as possible while conforming to the specific design and needs of the course.


Habits of Scholarship Report Card

The district’s grading and assessment practices focus on student mastery of academic material. We believe that the other important behaviors and skills often associated with success in college and careers should be reported separately.

The district uses a Habits of Scholarship Report Card, a system of reporting student behavior.

The middle school version communicates a student’s progress in personal responsibility and citizenship. The high school version communicates a student’s progress in two critical areas: persistence and time management.

All students in grades 6–12 receive a Habits of Scholarship Report Card.


A list of frequently asked questions about grading practices is available for parents of middle and high school students.