GRADING· Grading Policy · Retake Policy · Department Test Days · Report Cards & Progress Reports ·
· Final Exam Exemptions · Composite Grading · Parent Student Connect · Course Failure ·
· Credit Recovery/Summer School · Tutorials · Intervention ·
The Westside Grading Policy is as follows:
*Updated Grade averaging for the 2020-2021 School Year:
All high school courses, including those taken in middle school.
Each six-week cycle of the semester counts as
**Page XV-32 of the 2020-2021 HISD School Guidelines
- The division between major and minor grades for all curriculum teams is 70%-30%. Core-content freshman-level courses (Algebra 1, English 1, biology, and world geography) have a 60%-40% major-minor split.
- All Curriculum Teams will have the same major grades (quantity, weights, and content). Minor grades will be similar but are not required to be uniform.
- Teachers must post at least one grade to GradeSpeed every week.
- Teachers must have a minimum of three major grades each grading cycle unless otherwise notified by the principal.
The two most important things you can do to ensure success in high school are (1) making sure your child attends school every day on time and (2) monitoring your child’s grades through PS Connect, progress reports, and report cards.
HISD School Guidelines explain that “a student may be allowed a reasonable opportunity to make up or redo a class assignment or examination for which the student received a failing grade.”
At Westside, a retake is an assessment that matches the rigor and objectives of an original exam. Retakes often increase a student’s grade, but they may not. The primary purpose is a second opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course material.
Pre-AP retake replacement grades are capped at 75 while Prep retakes are capped at 80.
Student Retake Eligibility
- Only major grades are eligible for a retake.
- At the teacher’s discretion, students may be required to complete a remediation task prior to retesting. Potential tasks may include:
- Attend tutorials
- Complete alternative assignment
- Complete prerequisite homework
- Complete test corrections
- Retake must be completed within one week of original test grade being posted in Gradespeed.
- Retakes are for grades 75 and below only.
- Students with absences still have the opportunity to have a retake once they make-up exam.
- Retakes are not allowed for final exams.
- Alternative major grades (projects, labs, essays, other long term assignments, etc.) are subject to teacher discretion for retake approval. Teachers will share retake eligibility on these grades.
Test and major quiz (a quiz that is 25 or more minutes) dates are coordinated to minimize the number of tests a student has to take in one day. The days are as follows:
- Monday, Wednesday/Thursday: English Language Arts and Science
- Wednesday/Thursday: World Languages and CTE
- Tuesday and Friday: Math, Social Studies and other electives
Report cards go home every 6 weeks and progress reports are generated halfway through each grading period.A passing grade is 70 and above. An acceptable conduct grade is “S” (satisfactory) and above. Student and parents have 5 opportunities (3 progress reports and 2 interim report cards) to identify and address any problem before semester grades.
If a student does not bring his/her report card or progress report home, CALL THE SCHOOL or HOUSE SECRETARY! Many times, students are anxious about their grades and simply don’t want to share them with their parent.
A senior may exempt a spring semester final exam if the following conditions are true: senior classification in Chancery, 85 or higher in that course, E or S in conduct in that course, no more than three total absences, no documented cheating or plagiarism incidents in that course, no documented level III or IV offenses.
A student (in any grade level) who completes the AP exam for an AP course may be exempt from the spring final exam. To be exempt, the student must have an 85 or higher in that course, E or S in conduct in that course, no more than three total absences, no documented cheating or plagiarism incidents in that course, no documented level III or IV offenses.
It is important to note that students who are exempt from the final and do not report to school will receive an excused absence on the day of the final.
Whole course credit is a policy that allows for the averaging of semester grades in an A/B sequential course to enable a student to receive credit for the year-long course, in spite of having failed one semester.
For a yearlong course, the first semester (A portion) grade and second semester (B portion) grade must average 70 or higher (140 points or more when combined).
This policy is designed to encourage students who are struggling in a course make academic improvements and to afford them the opportunity to earn full credit. The registrar will award the credit to all that qualify; there is no application necessary.
If a student must do a credit appeal for the second semester course in order to receive credit due to excessive unexcused absences, he or she must complete the credit appeal hours before the composite grading will be awarded. Students who transfer to school mid-year (from another Houston ISD school) with a failing grade in one of the approved classes will be eligible for whole course credit.
Parent Student Connect (PS Connect) is an HISD service that allows registered users (i.e., parents and students) to log in to view a student's grades as the data is inputted into the teacher’s GradeSpeed program. PS Connect also allows the user to view assignments, progress reports, attendance records, achievement test scores, report cards, and more. Users can also set up "triggers" that send an e-mail or text message if a child's grades drop below a selected average or if a student is absent or tardy to class. Information on how to register and use the program can be found on our Parent Student Connect webpage.
Parent Student Connect is the best tool to regularly monitor your student’s grades.
Course failure will result if a student has received a grade of 69 or lower. It is important for students and parents to know that once a course failure has occurred (even if it was a high school credit course taken in middle school), it can never be replaced with another passing grade. The student can retake the course, and the new grade will be averaged in with the student’s cumulative GPA, but it doesn’t replace the failing grade.
Credit recovery refers to re-taking a course in which a student received a failing grade of 69 or lower. It is essential that the student meet with his/her dean to discuss the variety of options available in order to stay on track for graduation. (This may involve summer school.)
During the School Week:
Tutorials are offered before school, during lunch and/or after school in every subject. Students may attend tutorials with their assigned teacher or any other teacher for the same course. Students should NOT wait until they are failing to attend tutorials. Take the initiative and get help early. Ask your teacher when tutorials are available, look for signs in the hallway, or speak with your dean.
Saturday tutorials are available in many subjects throughout the school year. Information about Saturday tutorials can be found on the school calendar. In addition, callouts and emails to parents are sent throughout the year.
While we’ve addressed Credit Recovery and Composite Grading, it is obviously best not to need them in the first place. The first step is attendance; teachers can’t teach you if you’re not here to learn. The second step is getting help. Every faculty member wants every student to pass his/her class. Tutorials are offered before school, during lunch and/or after school in every subject. Even if your teacher doesn’t have tutorials when you can attend, someone in that department does. Whether you’ve missed school or simply don’t understand the subject matter, it doesn’t take much to fall behind and start a downward spiral. Do NOT wait until you are failing to attend tutorials. Take the initiative and get help early; you’ll be surprised how one or two sessions can put you back on track! Ask your teacher when tutorials are available or speak with your dean.
Westside High School Social Workers provide intervention for students who are facing severe challenges at school. School Social Workers offer assistance in various ways: counseling, goal setting, coping and social skills, conflict resolution, etc. If you feel that your child needs assistance, please contact your child’s dean for a referral.