Keeping Up

For New Hires and their Mentors

October 2015 Edition

Keeping Up ..... with Grades!

Understanding the grade recording/reporting system and carefully following the procedures now will save you (and me) hours of excruciatingly painful issues later!

Thursday, October 22nd Planning Periods! New Hire HELP! Sessions - Grade Reporting.

Additional resources available: Teacher Support Website

Unless You're a Mathematician....

You might not realize that grades calculated using POINTS will average differently than grades calculated using PERCENTAGES. Look at this example:
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3 Reasons For Using Percentages

Transfer Grades - Mid-Reporting Term Transfer Grades will be easier to enter!

8/15 vs. 53% - Most people will comprehend that 53% is failing.

Parent & Student Portal - Enough said!

Check out the Grading Tools section below for converting rubric scores and points to a percentage grade!

Remember: Once you select percentages or points, you must use the same throughout the reporting term. Do not mix points and percentages!

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Grades, Grades, and More Grades!


USE THE CORRECT REPORTING TERM When entering grades, always set the "Reporting Term" to the current term. Do not add grades while in "F1, S1, or S2" reporting terms. Mistakes can easily be made (which will be time consuming for you to fix when they occur! And they usually do!).

ENTER THE ACTUAL GRADE When entering individual task/assignment & test grades in your Quarter Scoresheet, enter the student’s actual grade earned. Do not floor individual assignments.

MISSING ASSIGNMENTS/TESTS When a student has missed an assignment or test or failed to turn in an assignment, it is best to enter a zero (0) until the assignment/test has been turned in. Additional comments can be made to indicate the assignment can/can't be made up, etc. If a student is exempt from an assignment, there is a comment for that, too!

GRADE FLOORS Grade Floors only apply at the end of the grading period. Once all task/assignment and assessment grades have been entered, then you will manually adjust the quarter’s final grade to reflect the district grade floor policy. Read the Grade Floor section below.

Did you know?


The Score Inspector allows you to mark an assignment as ‘Collected’, ‘Late’, ‘Exempt’, and/or ‘Missing and to include a comment regarding the assignment. The default setting does not assign a grade with the comment; however, you may set-up the comment to automatically assign a grade when selected.

Directions for Using Score Codes: To open the Score Inspector, right‐click in the score cell of the desired student and select the desired score code.

In addition to the attributes found in the Score Inspector, PowerTeacher allows you to edit and create additional score codes for use in your gradebook.

Directions for Editing or Adding Score Codes: From the ‘Tools’ drop down menu on the gradebook menu bar, select ‘Preferences’, select Score Codes. The ‘ABS’ code is preset but can be edited as needed. If you need to edit, highlight the code and click ‘Edit’.

To create a new Score Code, click ‘Add’

Create a Score Code How-To Video

Click this link to watch a video clip on how to create a score code in Power Teacher

Consider This!

When a teacher fails to enter a zero (0) when an assignment has not been turned in or a test has not been taken, both the parent and the student get an inaccurate picture of the student's actual progress or achievement!

A CAMPING STORY Let's say a teacher has assigned 10 assignments. Most students have completed and turned in the difficult and time consuming assignments.

Kelly turned in 10 assignments and has a grade average of 78.

Megan turned in 1 assignment (for which she received a 100) but the teacher did not enter zeros (0) for the nine (9) missing assignments. She has a grade average of 100.

Ms. Smith has a soft heart, and cares for her students (and besides, Megan is easier to get along with when she gets her way!) Megan has promised that she would turn in all the assignments on Monday! So, "nice" Ms. Smith gives Megan "a break" and does not enter any zeros.

Megan's mother/father check the PowerTeacher grades on the portal on Friday when Megan asks if she can go spend the weekend camping with friends. Since Megan has a "100" average (and the assignments with out any grade "haven't been corrected yet") Megan is allowed to go camping!

Guess what Megan is NOT doing this weekend! That's right! She is not doing her missing assignments!

Interactive How-To Directions with Videos

Click Link to access the Interactive PowerPoint. Then, click START SLIDE SHOW to begin

Do Transfer Grades Magically Appear?

Sadly, no! But, the Guidance Office will email transfer grades (using the form below) to you as soon as they receive them. Your job is to add the transfer grades into your PowerTeacher grade book. You must add grades from previous reporting terms using the Score Inspector manual override option in each of the reporting terms. Directions are shown below.

Transfer grades for the current reporting term are entered differently. This grade may be entered into each of the assignments or assessments for that grading period up until the date the student entered your class.

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Grade Floors

The GCS policy requires that the lowest grade given to a student at the end of a course (Final Grade) is a 50.

Grades are not floored for Progress Reports.

Grade floors must be MANUALLY adjusted at the end of each quarter for report cards. (This means you! The computer software does not automatically floor grades)

Year-Long Courses

10th-12th graders:

  • Grade floor 50 for every quarter grade.
  • Students receive actual exam grades.(E1, E2, C1 folders)
  • Grade floor 50 for semester grade.
  • Final grade no lower than 50.

9th graders only:

  • Grade floor 61 for 1st and 2nd quarter grades
  • Student receives actual exam grades. (E1, E2, C1 folders)
  • Grade floor 50 for 3rd & 4th quarter grades
  • Grade floor 61 for semester grades.
  • Final grade no lower than 50.

Semester-Only Courses

10th-12th graders:

  • Grade floor 50 for every quarter grade.
  • Students receive actual final exam grades. (E1, E2 folders)
  • Final grade no lower than 50.

9th graders only:

  • Grade floor 61 for 1st Quarter (or 3rd Quarter)
  • Grade floor 50 for 2nd Quarter (or 4th Quarter)
  • Students receive actual final exam grades. (E1, E2 folders)
  • Final grade no lower than 50.

Special Notes:

  • Teachers are responsible for entering all transfer grades into their grade book
  • Transfer grades: Any quarter or semester transfer grade from another school is not to be changed/floored.
  • All progress reports are to show actual grades. Grades are not to be floored for progress reports.
  • Teachers must contact parents when a student receives a failing progress report, in danger of failing, and when a student’s grade falls 2 letter grades.

Directions for Flooring Grades:

At the end of each nine weeks, BEFORE THE GRADE REPORTING DEADLINE, it may be necessary to change student’s final grades in order to bump them up a point or comply with the district grading floor. The following procedures will walk teachers through changing the Quarter, Semester, or Final grade. THIS SHOULD ONLY BE DONE AT THE END OF THE NINE WEEKS AFTER ALL GRADES HAVE BEEN ENTERED and BEFORE THE GRADE REPORTING DEADLINE.

  • Login to PowerTeacher
  • Choose one of your classes where you need to alter a student’s final grade

IMPORTANT: Make sure the reporting term is set to the current or correct term

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Ooops! Did I Mention Comments?

COMMENTS If you added comments to the progress reports, you will have to remove the comments unless they are still valid!

The Report Cards pull from the same comment section! Both Q1 Progress Report Cards and the 1st Quarter Report Cards are pulled from the Quarter Reporting Term (not from the semester or from the final reporting term!) Score Inspector Comment section.

Please add no more than three (3) total comments from the comment bank. Please do not "create" your own comments. If you need to say more, please request a parent-teacher conference or make a phone call home.


Follow the directions below for printing the SCORESHEET REPORT for each class. Then, carefully review the printed grades.

  • Did any of the grades fail to print? If so, write in the missing grades and initial.
  • If there are no grades, did you receive transfer grades? If you're not sure, check with the GUIDANCE OFFICE. Then add the transfer grades.
  • If there are no grades at all, please write the reason why.

Now, if all of the grades are accurate, sign the reports and give them to Kathy Stables.

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Don't Change Grades!

Once you have submitted the Scoresheet Report, please don't change the grades!

NEVER change grades from a previous reporting term without completing and submitting the the Grade Change Request Form (staff drive) to the Guidance Office with:

  • administrative approval - signature
  • Kathy Stables initials

Inform students that assignments and make-up work is due by X date. It is THEIR job to make sure they have everything in on time, because it is YOUR job to have grades conpleted and in on time! Making grade changes is highly discouraged!

Making any change will involve an administrator, the CRT (that's me), and at least 1 guidance counselor. Remember the adage; give 'em an inch and they will take a mile! And if you do it for one, you will be hard-pressed to explain why you won't for another!

PLAN AHEAD! Inform students of deadlines! Stick to them!

Grade Distribution

Before turning in your Scoresheet Report, quickly count up the number of students who have an A, a B, and so forth in each class. Enter the number into the Grade Distribution Sheet. List the failing students by name, and complete the data analysis portion.

The Grade Distribution Template is saved to the Staff Drive in the 2015-16 Grade-Reporting folder. Be sure to SAVE AS to your Department Analysis folder. You will use the SAME form throughout the school year.

A = 93-100

B = 85-92

C = 77-84

D = 70-76

F = 63-69

F = 62 or below

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Check out these Teacher Tools!


For teachers who want to use a rubric but don't want to deal with the headache of converting a rubric score to a percentage grade!

Come see me if you would like to learn more. Yes, It's FREE. No downloading required.

If you are looking for more tools:

  • On-line Points to Percentages Converter
  • Printable Cheat Sheet Converter

go to my webpage:

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Especially for Buddies & Mentors!

We are just catching our breath in October! You can be particulary helpful by reminding new hires of impending deadlines or meetings, point them in the right direction (where to find... or who to go to when...), and keep an eye out for that deer-in-the-headlights-look!

Here are a few things that new hires may need assistance with during October:

  • Report Cards & Grade Floors

  • Exchange Days - Hurray! They need to fill out the appropriate request form/notify administration. P.S. New Hires don't need to print off portal log. I have that information and I will give it to Ms. Ransome.

They may still need help with:

  • Parent contact and contact logs

  • IMS discipline referrals

  • Finding a good substitute (we might be sick and tired by now!)

  • IEPs and ESL students- sending & collecting work - working with Special Ed resource or ESL teachers; accommodations

And please give them a word of encouragement.


Kathleen Stables, Curriculum Resource

Please share suggestions on how we can support you better!