Evaluation and Reporting

POLICY 6-6.1 REPORTING TO PARENTS

Report Cards

Periodically during the school year, a progress report shall be given to the parents or guardians of each Hanover County Public School student. Progress and report cards shall reflect the standard of work the student has achieved, his attitudes and his work habits. The reporting teacher shall make the evaluation of the student's work, including the assignment of grades as is further described in School Board Policy 6-6.2.

Warning Notices

In cases where a student is in danger of failing a course or subject, sufficient notice shall be sent to his parents or guardians in order that they may be aware of the possibility of failure and so that appropriate corrective measures may be taken.

Parental Conferences

The Hanover County School Board encourages instructional staff to conduct regular conferences with parents/guardians for purposes of understanding and assisting the students. Where problems exist, conferences should be held as soon as possible.

Seniors

If a senior is in danger of failing to meet the requirements for graduating with his class, the student and his parents or guardians shall be notified of such danger at the earliest possible time, and assistance should be provided, where possible, to help the student satisfy the requirements. The responsibility for informing the student and parents/guardians shall rest with the teachers, guidance counselors and principal. Students shall have justification for appealing administrative decisions regarding graduation should appropriate instructional personnel fail to provide notice to seniors and their parents/guardians as required by this Policy.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-6.2 STUDENT EVALUATION AND GRADING

Teachers shall be responsible for the grading and evaluation of student achievement. The following guidelines shall be used in the evaluation:

  1. A student’s grade shall be based solely on achievement.

  2. A student’s grade shall not be penalized for any personal action or for any excused absence except as indicated in Hanover County School Board Policy 7-2.4.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-6.2(A) EXAMINATIONS – ADMINISTERING

Elementary

There shall be no examinations in any subject in the elementary school.

Secondary (Grades 8-12)

These guidelines shall be followed when administering final exams and cumulative assessments at the secondary level:

  1. For secondary school students, two exams shall be scheduled on each of four days.

  2. Exams shall be scheduled for a minimum of one (1) hour and forty-five (45) minutes and a maximum of two (2) hours.

  3. Eighth graders shall be required to take final exams in English, mathematics, science, and social studies and in courses for which Carnegie Units are granted.

  4. Sixth or seventh graders enrolled in courses for which Carnegie Units are granted shall be required to take final exams in these courses.

  5. Final exams may be used to determine appropriate grade level/placement for students transferring into Hanover County Public Schools. Any awarding of credit shall be in accordance with Policy and Regulation 6-4.3.

  6. Students enrolled in a semester course during the first semester may be required to take a culminating assessment during the regular school schedule.

  7. Teachers will utilize authentic, cumulative assessments throughout the year, including at midpoint, to measure progress towards mastery of curricular objectives.

Once examinations are scheduled, no exceptions may be made for the convenience of individual students. Students shall not be permitted to take examinations out of schedule. To receive credit for a course, a student must take the final exam. The only exception to this is the student who meets exemption requirements as outlined below.

Examination of Special Education Students

It is strongly recommended that coordination between regular and special education teachers take place prior to examinations to determine if accommodations should be made for students with disabilities. The purpose of modifications is to ensure, insofar as possible, that each disabled child receives maximum individual consideration of his disability without changing the nature or integrity of the test. Based on the disabling condition and individual needs of a special education student as outlined in his Individualized Education Plan, the special education teacher should make recommendations as to appropriate modifications in the test or testing situation. Such modifications may include, but not be limited to:

  1. Schedule modifications - time of day, length of testing time;

  2. Setting modifications - in special education classroom, administered by special education teacher;

  3. Modality modifications - oral administration; and

  4. Recording modifications - oral responses.

Exemptions

Exemptions from final examinations are as follows:

Seniors (a student who is a candidate for June graduation):

  1. A student must not have grades of less than “B-“ (80%) on each nine-week report period in a given subject to be eligible for exemption in that particular subject. (No nine-week report grade, as recorded on the report card may be less than “B-“ (80%) in the subject for which exemption is sought.)
  2. A student must not have more than two violations of the Code of Student Conduct during the school year.

  3. A student must not have received an out-of-school suspension during the school year.

  4. A student must not be absent in excess of five blocks of instruction for any subject during the school year.

    a. Up to two additional absences may be considered by the principal for college visits, military recruitment visits, or job interviews with appropriate documentation.

    b. Exceptions for chronic or significant medical conditions can be considered by the principal with documentation from a physician or licenses clinical psychologist.

  5. Teachers of seniors reserve the right to require all seniors to take exams. Examination requirements shall be clarified at the beginning of the course in the course syllabus.

  6. Seniors eligible for exemption may choose to take any of their examinations.

  7. The same exemptions apply to students enrolled in a semester course.

All Secondary Students:

  1. Middle and high school students enrolled in a course that requires them to take a Standards of Learning (SOL) test shall be exempt from their final examination if they earn a proficient score as defined by the Virginia Department of Education. For courses with more than one SOL test (e.g. – grade 8 writing and grade 8 reading), all test scores must be proficient in order to quality.

  2. Students enrolled in a Career and Technical Education course shall be exempt from their final examination if they earn a passing score on the approved credentialing exam(s).

  3. Students enrolled in a dual enrollment course must adhere to the examination policies of the governing institution.

  4. Students enrolled in an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course shall be eligible for examination exemption if they take the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test for that course and maintain a grade of at least “B-“ (80%) on each nine-week report period of that course.  (no nine-week report grade, as recorded on the report card may be less than “B-“ (80%) in the subject for which exemption is sought).

The criteria for exemptions from final examinations will be reviewed annually by a committee designed by the assistant superintendent for instructional leadership and chief academic officer.

Final Examination Grade Values

Secondary

First semester grades are computed by adding the two (2) nine-week grades and dividing by two (2). Final examinations administered in the secondary schools normally should be valued as one-seventh of the second semester grade. Second semester grades are computed as follows:

a. Count each nine-week grade three times;
b. Count each exam grade once;
c. Divide the sum of the above grades by seven.
d. Grade computations apply to students enrolled in a semester course during the first semester, as well.

Final course grades are computed by adding the two (2) semester grades and dividing by two (2).

There may be circumstances whereby the examination may include an assigned project or a demonstration of mastery skills.

Non-Attendance During Examinations

Attendance policies shall be in effect during exams. Students shall not be excused from an examination except for emergencies. Students absent for an exam who do not follow the prescribed procedure for missing an exam due to an excusable circumstance shall be subject to the same disciplinary action as if a regular school day were missed, and a grade of incomplete (I) issued until the disciplinary action is satisfied. Students absent for a portion of an examination period who do not follow the prescribed procedure for missing a portion of a class due to an excusable circumstance shall be subject to the same disciplinary action as if a class were skipped and a grade of incomplete (I) issued until the disciplinary action is satisfied.

Re-Examinations

Only seniors may be permitted to take re-examinations. They may be permitted to take only one re-examination. When a subject is passed by re-examination, the final subject grade shall be recorded at a minimum passing of "D."

Amended: February 12, 2003, September 9, 2003, May 10, 2016, November 1, 2016, September 2019

REGULATION 6-6.2(B) REPORT CARDS AND GRADES

Responsibility of Teachers

Teachers shall be responsible for the grading and evaluation of student achievement. A student's grade shall be based solely on achievement and shall not be penalized for any personal action or excused absence except as indicated elsewhere in this Policy Manual.

Regulations for Issuing Report Cards and Grades - Elementary (K-5)

Only letter grades will be recorded in grade books. Grades are assigned according to a letter system, each letter is assigned a grade point value.

The following numerical values will be assigned when averaging grades.

A = Excellent

5

B = Above Average

4

C = Average

3

D = Below Average

2

F = Failure

1

Grades will be averaged to one decimal place and rounded to the nearest whole number. If the decimal is .5 or higher, round to the next higher number. If the decimal is .4 or lower, round down by just dropping the decimal. For example, a score of 2.4 will be rounded to 2. A score of 2.5 will be rounded to 3.

Interim reports shall be prepared and issued to all students/parents four times per year, at the midpoint of each nine-week grading period. Report cards shall be prepared and issued to students at the end of each nine-week reporting period (usually forty-five (45) teaching days).

All grades recorded on the report card shall be letter grades and should not be supplemented with plus or minus signs.

Kindergarten & Grade 1

Letter grades S – succeeding, P - progressing and N - needs improvement. Instructional levels will be indicated in reading.

Students in grade K-1 will receive a rating of Mastery, Partial Mastery, or Area of Difficulty in Social Development and Work Habits.

Grades 2-5

Letter grades A, B, C, D, and F will be used in grading students. The instructional level in reading will be indicated.

Students in grade 2 will receive a grade of S (succeeding), P (progressing), or N (needs improvement) in Science, Social Studies, and Writing.

Students in grades 3-5 will receive a rating of S (succeeding), or N (needs improvement) in Social Development and Work Habits.

Kindergarten – Grade 5 Resource

Students in grades K-5 will receive S (succeeding) or N (needs improvement) in Health/Physical Education, Art, Library, and Music.

Regulations for Report Cards and Grades – Secondary (6-12)

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the following numerical values will designate each letter grade. All teachers in grades 6-12 must use this numerical scale for all courses, including Advanced Placement courses. In dual-enrollment college courses the grading practices and regulations of the college will be followed to calculate and report high school students’ grades.

Excellent:

A+
A
A-

97-100
93-96
90-92

Above Average:

B+
B
B-

87-89
83-86
80-82

Average:

C+
C
C-

77-79
73-76
70-72

Below Average:

D+
D

67-69
65-66

Failure:

64 and below

Interim reports shall be prepared and issued to all students/parents four times per year, at the midpoint of each nine-week grading period. Report cards shall be prepared and issued to students at the end of each nine-week reporting period (usually forty-five (45) teaching days.)

At least once per semester written notification shall be sent to parents or guardians of every senior who is in danger of failing to meet requirements for graduating with his/her class. Only numerical grades will be recorded in gradebooks. All grades recorded on the report card shall be letter grades supplemented with plus or minus signs, as appropriate based upon the above scale.

  1. Factors Used to Determine Grade - The classroom teacher shall inform students of the factors used to determine the grade for each reporting interval and the relative value of each e.g., classwork, written assignments, tests, special projects, etc. This information shall be provided to students in written form (syllabus) at the beginning of each course.

  2. Procedures Used to Average Grades - The classroom teacher has the flexibility to determine procedures for assigning student grades; however, the classroom teacher shall inform students, through the course syllabus, of the procedures to assign grades, e.g., a) averaging of numerical grades; b) averaging of letter grades; c) another system which is communicated through the course syllabus, e.g., basing grades upon a specific number of points to be obtained within a reporting interval. The selected procedure shall remain consistent throughout the year.

When teachers average numerical grades, the numerical span for each letter grade shall be communicated to students through the course syllabus, and it shall be the span outlined above in this regulation.

When assigning a student's grades, the teacher should consider the impact of isolated, low numerical grades upon the grade for the reporting interval. In reporting students’ grades for interim, nine-week, and final grade reporting procedures, any point system used by the teacher to calculate students’ grades must be converted to the numerical values outlined above in this regulation.

Amended: February 12, 2003, September 4, 2012, May 10, 2016, May 9, 2017

REGULATION 6-6.2(C) STUDENT EXPECTATIONS AND ASSESSMENT

Students and their parent(s) or guardian(s) are entitled to knowledge of the criteria for success in a class, special cost(s) associated with a class, and long-term or special projects that encompass the year and require special planning and time management. To provide these conditions, all principals shall ensure that the following occurs:

  1. A schedule shall be established which will allow students to have the time to complete major projects such as term papers, science projects, art projects or any other academic projects.

  2. A syllabus shall be developed and distributed for each secondary course. The syllabus shall clarify what is expected of the students and shall include a) an overview of general content and/or major objectives, b) procedures for assessing students including type of assignment and their relative value in deriving nine-week grades, c) information on long-term projects (e.g., term papers) including grade value, time of year availability of library materials, and cost of materials, and d) other information pertinent to the course (e.g., safety requirements and performance requirements). Teachers should make certain that materials and resources are available before requiring projects.

  3. A plan shall be established to ensure coordination of homework, classwork, assignments, and continual communication with parents regarding student progress. (Remember that the home is the first classroom and the parents are the first teachers.)

  4. Opportunities for tutorial assistance shall be available to students.

Amended: February 12, 2003, May 10, 2016

POLICY 6-6.3 INDIVIDUAL TESTS

Generally

Tests tailored to access special areas of individual psychological and educational need are to be administered only by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer.

Parental Consent

When such tests are used selectively with an individual student – as opposed to basic tests administered to or procedures used with all students in a school, grade or class – parental consent must be obtained prior to the evaluation. As used in this Policy “consent” means that

  1. The parent/guardian has been fully informed of all information relative to the activity for which consent is sought.

  2. The parent/guardian understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his consent is sought and the consent describes that activity and lists the student records (if any) which will be released and to whom.

  3. The parent/guardian understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent/guardian and may be revoked at any time.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-70, 22.1-78.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 6-6.4 GENERAL EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GED) TESTS/CERTIFICATES

The General Education Development (GED) Program provides an opportunity for recognition of educational development for persons who once were enrolled in school and did not complete requirements for graduation. By achieving satisfactory scores on GED tests, adults will be issued a high school equivalency certificate. Applicants shall meet the requirements as set forth by the Virginia Board of Education.

All Hanover County residents who wish to make application are required to contact the designated GED official at the Hanover County School Board office. Applications approved by the local GED office must be accompanied by the applicable fee in the form of a certified check or money order made payable to the official testing center.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-223 through 22.1-226, 22.1- 253.13:1, 22.1-254.2; Rules Governing General Educational Development Certificates, 8 VAC 20-360-10.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 6-6.4 REGULATIONS FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GED) TESTS/CERTIFICATES

Generally

Certificates may be issued to adults who are no longer enrolled in regular day school programs and who meet the following minimum requirements.

Age

An applicant must be at least 18 years of age. Under special circumstances which are considered by local school authorities to be justifiable, the age limit may be lowered consistent with the provisions of Virginia Code § 22.1-254.2. Notwithstanding the forgoing requirements, applicants below 18 years of age shall provide one of the following:

  1. A letter from an official of the regular day school last attended stating that the applicant has been legally withdrawn from school for a period of one year; or

  2. A letter from an official of the regular day school last attended stating that the applicant has been legally withdrawn from school for a period of six months, and a letter from a director of a high school review program stating that the applicant has successfully completed the program; or

  3. A letter from an employer, a recruiting officer of the armed forces, or an admissions officer of an institution of higher learning or post-secondary training institution, stating the applicant meets all requirements for employment or admissions with the exception of a GED certificate and a letter from an official of the regular day school last attended recommending the applicant be tested.

High School Credit

Not required.

Residence

An individual must be a physical resident of the state of Virginia for a minimum of thirty (30) days immediately prior to making application to take the test.

Minimum Test Scores

A standard score battery average of 45 (a total score of 225) with no individual test standard score below 35.

Credit for Out-of-State Scores

Test scores may be accepted for an approved GED battery of test administered by an approved GED center outside Virginia, provided the requirements established by the Commonwealth of Virginia have been fulfilled.

Retesting

An applicant who fails to qualify for a certificate on the basis of test scores may be retested provided at least sixty (60) days have lapsed since the last testing.

Application and Fees

A Virginia resident must make application in the school division in which he lives. Th application must be approved by the division superintendent or his designee. An applicant approved by the local school official is required to pay a fee to take the battery of five (5) tests.

Certificate Citation

Wording on the certificate shall read as follows:

This certificate is awarded ___________________________ in lieu of a high school diploma for having made acceptable scores on a comprehensive and approved battery of standardized tests of general education development in the following high school subject fields – Writing Skills, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Reading.

POLICY 6-6.5 GROUP TESTS

The standardized testing program prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education shall be administered annually. Standardized tests shall be administered in accordance with state regulations and directives. The data shall be used as one means of monitoring and evaluating the quality of the instructional program.

In administering tests or other assessment instruments, School Board employees shall not require any public school students being tested to disclose their race or ethnicity on such tests. School division personnel, however, may obtain such information from a student’s permanent record and place the information on the test or assessment.

No student or his or her parent is required to disclose information related to the student’s race or ethnicity unless (i) the student or his parent is given an option to designate “other” for the student’s race or ethnicity or (ii) such disclosure is required by federal law.

In addition to this testing program, school division personnel may test to meet specific needs within a school. This testing should be submitted to the division superintendent or his designee for approval.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-4.2, 22.1-253.13:3

Recodified: August 2000, September 2018

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

REGULATION 6-6.5 (A) COMPETENCY TESTS

The competency testing program prescribed by the Virginia State Board of Education shall be administered in accordance with state regulations. The competency testing program shall be administered in such a way that there is centralized control of a maximum number of testing conditions, including test security. The responsibility for scoring competency tests is that of the Virginia Department of Education and shall not be accomplished within the school division.

REGULATION 6-6.5 (B) PROFICIENCY/COMPETENCY TESTS: LITERACY TESTING PROGRAM

The literacy testing program prescribed by the Virginia State Board of Education shall be administered in accordance with State Regulations.

REGULATION 6-6.5 (C) VIRGINIA STATE ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (VSAP)

The Virginia State Assessment Program (VSAP) prescribed by the Virginia Department of Education shall be administered annually in accordance with state regulations as one means of monitoring school group performance against national standards.

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