Information for Parents about Student Grades for Special Area Classes

    Parents of elementary students sometimes have questions about the way grades are assigned in Special Area Classes, including Art, Library, Music, and Physical Education. There are only three marking indicators used to reflect student progress in these classes. These letter grades do not reflect an accumulation of points or the more traditional grading methodologies used in other core subject areas. They reflect a cumulative evaluation of skills and exercises over the course of the grading period. The marking indicators are: 

    • S = Strength
    • P = Appropriate Progress
    • N = Needs Improvement


    Elementary Special Area teachers assess students in two basic categories: Skills and Participation/Behavior. Based upon a student’s abilities in each of these two categories, teachers assign one of the three marking indicators above to reflect his/her progress. In the PowerSchool Gradebook, letter grades cannot be processed. Therefore, percentage values must be associated with the marking indicators in the PowerSchool system: 

    • S = 95%
    • P = 85%
    • N = 69%


    Parents occasionally inquire as to how their child might improve his or her grade or if their child was ‘close’ to receiving a higher grade. Since, these are actually letter grades and there are no real numeric ranges or points associated with them except as they are represented in the PowerSchool Gradebook, the answer is simple. Any child who demonstrates a higher level of proficiency in skills related to the subject area will move to the next higher level of assessment. 

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