Dear Esperanza Families;
Three years ago, when St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) implemented the Teacher Access Center (TAC) and the companion Home Access Center (HAC), the feedback and grading of student learning became transparent, opening avenues of communication with parents and students.
In working with students, teachers, administrators, and parents, it has become evident that grading categories and weights vary greatly from class to class – even within the same content and grade level. This has been a challenge for students and parents navigating the grading process. With this variance from class to class, students and parents have struggled to understand the math behind their child’s final grade.
To better communicate with students and parents, we will be categorizing all student work into two broad categories – process and products. In this vein, processes are marks given at a point in time when the students are progressing towards mastery. These would be assignments such as homework and class work and include other experiences in which learning is “under construction.” Products are assignments or assessments given at a point in time when the teacher expects that students have mastered the material. These are items such as tests, quizzes, labs, essays, or other performance assessments.
Teachers will continue to define the scope of work and assignments for their individual classes, though they will now categorize work as process or product. If you have specific questions about grades you see on the Home Access Center, or in how they were determined, please contact the student’s teacher.
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