Grading Update 2019
Deering Grading Practice
Posted on 06/17/2019
Deering Ram

Dear Deering High School Parents & Guardians,

As many of you know, Deering High School, in alignment with district graduation policy, has been refining our approach to grading. Our goal is to clearly communicate what your student has learned and what they have yet to master. Along with traditional grading practices, we have used a 4-point grade scale that Casco Bay High School also employs, and we have collaborated with Portland High School around how to modify the traditional approach to grading in order to incorporate best practice so we can improve. Our plan is also based on feedback from teachers and students, as well as on hearing from many of you.

Teachers have a variety of tools and strategies that can be used to determine a final grade, but once all calculations are finished it will be expressed in a traditional manner -- earning an 87, for instance -- as will a student’s grade point average (GPA). Regardless of the grading tools used during the teaching and learning process, the GPA will look the same as it always has at Deering. A student would have a GPA of, for instance, a 94.61 which is calculated by averaging the final grade in every course throughout high school. We will still weight honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses as in the past.

Teachers can choose to use every number, from 50 to 100, in order to grade student work. However, in some classes and on individual assignments, grading on a more streamlined 4-point rubric works better because it’s easier to clearly express if the student is in fact beginning, approaching, meeting, or exceeding the learning standard. For that reason there are teachers who have used this approach for a number of years. However, as stated above, those grades on the 4-point scale will roll up into a traditional number for course grade and GPA calculations. For instance, if a student earns a 3.5 on an assessment it will be entered as a 96. For either approach -- using every number from 50 to 100, or a 4-point scale --  if a student does not attempt to successfully complete the work (or is caught cheating) they will earn a zero for that assignment.

See below for common grade ranges and levels of learning at both Deering and Portland High Schools.

This will be further detailed in the 2019-2020 student and family handbooks. Please call or email if you have questions before then or would like to meet. I will be at Deering most days this summer.



Gregg Palmer, Principal

Deering High School