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Frequently Asked Questions




Why is SDUSD making this shift? 

Our focus as a district continues to be on educating the whole child and providing quality, standards-based instruction for each child in every neighborhood. At the elementary level, educators have been using standards-based grading and reporting practices for nearly a decade. The shift in our grading policy is to provide clarity and transparency in communicating progress toward mastery of standards for our entire SDUSD community, TK-12. By removing non-academic factors from the academic grade and ensuring students have multiple means and opportunities to demonstrate mastery, our academic grades will more accurately reflect student knowledge and skill.



What are the “nonacademic factors” that will move to the citizenship grade?

Nonacademic factors include general behavior, punctuality, effort, and work habits. Students are still expected to turn assignments in on time and behave appropriately, however these factors will now directly affect the citizenship grade rather than the academic grade. Educators will still have due dates for assignments and will establish a timeframe for when late work will be accepted.



Does offering revision and reassessment lower the standards for students?

Our standards remain rigorous, relevant, and aligned to State standards. Providing opportunities for revision and reassessment will allow students to relearn content or material that they may not have fully understood the first time it was taught. Students will be able to learn from their mistakes and demonstrate mastery of knowledge at more than just one point in time.

What is the timeline and goals for implementing standards based grading?

Since the 2020-21 school year has already begun, the new grading definitions and citizenship marks will NOT be utilized until the following school year in order to allow for time to make the necessary changes in our PowerSchool system and report card structures. Our educators and administrators will focus on implementing two of the essential components of the grading policy for this current school year: 


  1. Removing nonacademic factors from the academic grade
  2. Providing opportunities for revision and reassessment 



When can I expect to receive details about how these two components will be implemented for my student's classes?

As mentioned above, elementary educators are already using a standards-based grading system. For grades 6-12, educators will begin to implement changes during Quarter 2. The revised grading policy will not apply to Quarter 1 due to Quarter 1 ending on October 30th.



Why is the updated grading policy NOT retroactive?

The board-approved policies go into effect after the board has approved the policy during a public board meeting in order to address any questions or concerns that may require the policy to be further revised or edited. Educators will need time to collaborate with their site administrators, department, and grade level teams to identify changes that will need to be made for the remainder of this school year. For grades 6-12, the revised grading policy will not apply to Quarter 1 due to Quarter 1 ending on October 30th.



Will ALL assignments be revised or reassessed?

Per the revised grading policy, educators will provide “opportunities” for revision and reassessment. Educators will determine the type and frequency of revisions and reassessments based on their content area. Due dates for class assignments, late submissions, revisions and reassessments will also be established in order to give educators enough time to enter scores into the final grade. Over the next few weeks, sites, departments and grade-level teams will determine which assignments can be revised or reassessed and schools will communicate directly with families the type, frequency, and timeframe.


When will the revised grading policy be fully implemented for grades 6-12?

Staff will use this school year to collaborate and align grading practices to the revised policy. New academic definitions, citizenship marks, and grading comments will be available for use within PowerSchool for the 2021-22 school year.