Changes to Grading Practices

Changes to Grading Practices

The Appleton Area School District’s reporting structure is a reliable system that ensures that each student's grade accurately reflects his/her degree of progress in achievement of the established academic standards.

Grades should be a reflection of what a child knows and can do in relationship to the identified course standards. Because of this, several changes in grading practices have recently been implemented.

Wider implementation of these grading practice changes is planned for the next several years. Parents will continue to be notified of these positive changes to our grading practices as they are implemented.

Academic Integrity 

The Appleton Area School District promotes and expects ethical behavior from all students, valuing honesty and integrity. Dishonest and unethical behavior, such as lying, cheating, or plagiarism, will not be tolerated. All incidents will be documented through an Office Discipline Referral per district procedures, and may impact the Career and Life Skills frequency rating (all secondary standards based courses). Students will have the opportunity  to demonstrate mastery of the standards through an alternative assessment as determined by the teacher. 


Regular attendance is a vital part of academic achievement, and demonstration of content mastery may be impacted by the lack of instructional opportunities as a result of absences. Student attendance will not be used in the calculation of academic scores. However, absences may affect the teacher’s ability to assess the required skills, which may be reflected in the student’s academic score, and absences may lead to students having to make up missing activities. Upon returning from an absence students are expected to make arrangements to learn content that was missed. 

Extra Credit or Bonus Points

Students may have the opportunity to provide additional evidence that demonstrates new or deeper understanding of the established academic standards. However, such opportunities may not be used to improve a grade in the absence of having met the established academic standard.  

Grading on a Curve

Individual student achievement will be measured against defined curriculum outcomes rather than compared to other students’ academic achievement.  

Grading Group Work 

Only individual achievement evidence will be used in a student’s grade; group scores will not be included.

Late Work

Students are required to submit both formative and summative tasks on the due date. Work submitted late will not receive an academic consequence; however, students will be held accountable for completing the work. Furthermore, timeliness of work completion will be reflected in the Career and Life Skills frequency rating. 

Separating Behavior from Academics

Grades will be a representation of what students know and are able to do in relationship to the standard. Because of this, student behaviors (effort, participation, adherence to class expectations, etc.) are not included in the letter grade but instead reported in the Career and Life Skills as a frequency rating.