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Novato USD |  BP  5121  Students

Grades/Evaluation Of Student Achievement   

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The Board of Education believes that grades serve a valuable instructional purpose by helping students and parents/guardians identify the student's areas of strength and those areas needing improvement. Parents/guardians and students have the right to receive course grades that represent an accurate evaluation of the student's achievement.

The teacher of each course shall determine the student's grade. The grade assigned by the teacher shall not be changed by the Board or the Superintendent except as provided by law, Board policy and administrative regulation. (Education Code 49066)

(cf. 5125.3 - Challenging Student Records)

Teachers shall evaluate a student's work in relation to standards which apply to all students at his/her grade level. The Superintendent or designee shall establish and regularly evaluate a uniform grading system, and principals shall ensure that student grades conform to this system. Teachers shall inform students and parents/guardians how student achievement will be evaluated in the classroom.

(cf. 5124 - Communication with Parents/Guardians)

(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)

Grades will be based on the following: careful, impartial and consistent observation and measurement of the quality of the student's work; the mastery of course content and standards and the degree to which course outcomes are achieved; demonstrated class work and participation, homework, projects, course assignments, tests and other assessments of student performance.

* Student behavior shall not be factored into a student's academic performance except as it relates to participation in class or in completing and turning in assigned work.

* If a student is excessively tardy to class, the teacher may lower the student's grade for nonparticipation.

* If a student misses class without an excuse and does not subsequently turn in homework, take a test or fulfill another class requirement which he/she missed, the teacher may lower the student's grade for nonperformance.

(cf. 6154 - Homework/Makeup Work)

* If a student receives a failing grade because of unexcused absences, the student's record shall specify that the grade was assigned because of excessive unexcused absences. (Education Code 49067)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

* Students and parents/guardians shall be notified about performance and progress.

* Formal reports of student progress are communicated.

Teachers shall inform students about the class grading system at the beginning of the semester and other times as appropriate

The grade given to each student shall be determined by the teacher and in the absence of clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith including incompetency, shall be final. The Board or Superintendent shall not order a grade to be changed unless the teacher is given an opportunity to state orally, in writing, or both, the reason for the grade, and to the extent practical be included in discussions relating to changing the grade. (Education Code 49066)

Students on Suspension

The teacher of any class from which a student is suspended may require the student to complete any assignments and tests missed during the removal. A student shall be permitted to make-up any work missed within 10 days of his/her return to school. (Education Code 48913)

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Superintendent or designee shall recommend to the Board the methodology to be used in calculating students' grade point averages. The Superintendent or designee shall also recommend to the Board whether extra grade weighting will be assigned for honors courses that are substantially similar in depth, breadth and rigor to an Advanced Placement course, an entry-level college course or a community college level course.

(cf. 6141.5 - Advanced Placement)

Legal Reference:


41505-41508 Pupil Retention Block Grant

48070 Promotion and retention

48205 Excused absences

48800-48802 Enrollment of gifted students in community college

48904-48904.3 Withholding grades, diplomas, or transcripts

49066 Grades; finalization; physical education class

49067 Mandated regulations regarding student's achievement

49069.5 Students in foster care, grades and credits

51242 Exemption from physical education based on participation in interscholastic athletics

76000-76002 Enrollment in community college


10060 Criteria for reporting physical education achievement, high schools

30008 Definition of high school grade point average for student aid eligibility


1232g Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

6101-6251 School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994


99.1-99.67 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act


Owasso Independent School District v. Falvo, (2002) 534 U.S. 426

Las Virgenes Educators Association v. Las Virgenes Unified School District, (2001) 86 Cal.App.4th 1

Swany v. San Ramon Valley Unified School District, (1989) 720 F.Supp. 764

Johnson v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education, (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 593

Management Resources:


Aiming High: High Schools for the 21st Century, 2002

Taking Center Stage: A Commitment to Standards-Based Education for California's Middle Grades Students, 2001

Elementary Makes the Grade!, 2000


Report Cards and Transcripts for Students with Disabilities, October 17, 2008


California Department of Education:

California Student Aid Commission:

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights:


adopted: December 15, 2009 Novato, California