Parents of elementary students sometimes have questions about the way grades are assigned in Special Area Classes, including Art, Music, Physical Education, and Library. 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 Tyler Gradebook, letter grades cannot be processed. Therefore, these percentage values are automatically associated with the marking indicators by the Tyler 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 Tyler 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.

    For more specific information concerning your student’s progress in these classes, refer to the “Assignments” screen in the Tyler Gradebook. On that screen, you can see the specific assignments for each of the Special Area classes and the grades that have been given for each assignment. This provides the detail regarding which skills your child can work to improve.

    Students are graded at the end of each semester for special area classes. These grades can be found on their second and fourth nine weeks report cards.


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