Academic and Grading Policy

Philosophy and Purpose of Grading

This grading policy was revised and updated for the 2020-2021 school year.

The P.S. 115Q Academic and Grading Policy Handbook is designed to explain how student learning is measured in our school community.  As a school community, we are committed to providing relevant, comprehensive, quality instruction in order to educate, prepare, and inspire our students to be life-long learners.

Academic grades play an important role in the schooling process.  When schools inform students and parents of how grades will be determined in a particular subject, they are defining the standards and instructional requirements for that subject.  Report cards are sent to parents informing them of the degree to which student success in learning and in mastering the Next Generation Learning Standards have occurred.  Report cards provide reinforcement for students and reflect progress and achievement of students’ work at the grade level they are assigned.

Grades serve the following purposes: 

  • Demonstrate students’ level of understanding and skills in a subject, as of a specific point in time
  • Give parents information about their child that will be useful in helping to promote and maintain desirable patterns of behavior and achievement.
  • Help identify areas of improvement/growth and areas still in need of support.
  • Inform teachers’ curricular, instructional, and organizational decisions

P.S. 115Q believes that grading has a purposeful and useful role in our school.  It is the school’s desire to make the process both meaningful and helpful to teachers, students, and parents.  The P.S. 115Q grading policy follows New York City Department of Education policies and guidelines and reflects professional evaluation by teachers.

Grades, based on documentation, participation, attitude, conduct, and work habits of each individual student, are given on the basis of sound measurement techniques.  Students earn grades; teachers do not give grades.  Parents are encouraged to talk to students about schoolwork and grades and contact teachers (first) and administrators (second) whenever there is a question regarding grading.

Grading and Reporting Requirements


Assessed in the following areas:

Pre-K Standards

  • Domain 1: Approaches to Learning
  • Domain 2: Physical Development and Health
  • Domain 3: Social and Emotional Development
  • Domain 4: Communication, Language, and Literacy
  • Domain 5: Cognition and Knowledge of the World; Including Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and The Arts

Report Cards

Pre-K students do not receive report cards. The November and March Parent Teacher Conferences will afford parents the opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher to discuss their child’s progress towards meeting the Pre-K Standards.

Kindergarten through Grade 5

Assessed in the following areas:

  • English Language Arts: (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Language)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Arts (Music, Visual Art)
  • Dance
  • Library/Media
  • Technology
  • English as a New Language (only for students receiving mandated English as a New Language instruction)
  • Academic and Personal Behaviors
  • Social-Emotional Development

Report Cards

Report Cards will be sent home at the end of each marking period (December, April, June). 

Kindergarten students will receive grades for all subject areas as indicated to the left however grades for a few sub-components in math, science, and social studies will only be given in April and June due to the scope and sequence of our curriculum as well as the developmental readiness of students. 

For this school year, students will not receive failing grades (1, 2, or 2+) if they have not yet met the learning outcomes for specific content areas.  Instead, students will receive a mark of N “Needs Improvement” and will be provided additional time and support to ensure they can master content area concepts.  While attendance doesn’t factor into grades, failure to attend class, either virtually or in person, often negatively impacts students’ ability to earn a high mark and demonstrate their understanding. 

Students who have been newly admitted to our school will receive a grade if they have attended school for a minimum of 75% of the days within a marking period.  If they have attended school for less than 75% of the days in the marking period, they will receive a mark of NL (Newly admitted) for that marking period.  Students could also receive a mark of NL if there is insufficient information to determine whether a student has met standards.

Classroom performance is measured by a variety of indicators such as participation during in-person and virtual google meets, classwork, tasks, assignments, projects, asynchronous work, one on one conferences, small group work, etc.

While in this learning environment where many students are learning remotely from home, we highly encourage students to complete all assessments independently. This information helps teachers determine student strengths and areas in need of additional support.

Cluster Grades- students will receive grades for specials (Art, Music, Dance, Physical Education, Technology, and Media) for the marking period in which they received instruction.  For example, students who had Music for cycle 1 and Art for cycle 2 will receive grades for both of these areas for Marking Period 1 only.

Please note that when you receive your child’s report card in June, there will be grades for marking period 3, as well as a final grade which will be an average of the overall grades from marking periods 1, 2, and 3. As per the new Academic Policy Guidelines, after final report card grades are issued in June, parents may request to have their child’s passing final grade(s) in any content areas changed to MT “Meets Standards” by sending a written request through email or having a conversation with the Principal.

Procedure for Changing a Student’s Report Card Grades, Changing Attendance, or Changing Number of Days Late

Once report cards have been distributed to families, (December, April, June) any changes to report card grades, attendance, or number of days late must be approved by the Principal or Assistant Principal.

  • Parents should report any discrepancies to classroom or cluster teachers within 2 days of the report card distribution date.
  • Classroom and cluster teachers will determine if grade, absences, number of days late should be changed.  Teachers discuss change with Principal or Assistant Principal.
  • All changes to report card final grades, final attendance, and final number of days late must be made prior to July 1st of the year.  The school year ends on June 30th and the new school year begins on July 1st.  Once the new school year begins, no changes can be made to grades from prior years.

Report Card Distribution

  • Marking Period 1 Report Card Distribution Date: December 21, 2020
  • Marking Period 2 Report Card Distribution Date: April 15, 2021
  • Marking Period 3 Report Card Distribution Date: June 25, 2021

Parent Teacher Conferences

  • Marking Period 1 Parent Teacher Conference Date: November 5, 2020
  • Marking Period 2 Parent Teacher Conference Date: March 4, 2021

Promotion and Retention of Students

Promotion and retention of students is determined based upon Chancellor’s Regulation A-501, which outlines promotion standards of students in grades K-12, as well as procedures for implementing the promotion policy.