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    DROP OFF TIMES: Grades K-2 will begin at 7:45am. Grades 3-10 will begin at 7:30am.

Grading and Assessment

The primary purpose of grades and grading is to communicate achievement to students, parents, and other appropriate parties such as colleges and universities. A second purpose of grades and grading is to provide information for students to use in self-evaluation and encouragement of academic growth and progress throughout the school year. The grading and assessment policy at Pinnacle Classical Academy is not designed to be punitive in any way. The grading and assessment policy is designed to accurately reflect student achievement in their coursework and to provide accountability in the educational process.

At Pinnacle Classical Academy students will be assigned traditional letter grades of “A” through “F” to indicate their achievement in core subject areas. In education much has been made of grades and what the grades actually represent. It is our conclusion that all graded work must be reflective of the content taught and the outcomes expected for each goal/objective for the subject(s) assessed. Teachers use backward planning methods to ensure they use the end assessment as a guide to instruction and expectations of the students.[1] At Pinnacle, letter grades must indicate the student’s level of achievement as shown on the following chart.






  • Firm command of the content domain
  • High level of skill development
  • Exceptional preparation for later learning


Far above average



  • Command of knowledge beyond the minimum
  • Advanced development of most skills
  • Has prerequisites for later learning


Above average



  • Command of basic knowledge and concepts
  • Demonstrated ability to use basic skills
  • Lacks some prerequisites for later learning





  • Lacks knowledge of some fundamental ideas and concepts
  • Some important skills unattained
  • Deficient in many prerequisites for later learning


Below average



  • Most of the basic knowledge and concepts not learned
  • Most essential skills are not demonstrated
  • Lacks most prerequisites for later learning


Far below average


Grade Level / Class Type

Grading Scale




93-100             A

85-92               B

77-84               C

70-76               D

Below 70         F



(PE, Art, STEM, Music)



Math I [2]

(8th grade only)

90-100      A

80-89         B

70-79         C

60-69         D

Below 60   F


Foreign Language

(6-8 only)



There have been numerous articles, studies, and discussions throughout the education world about whether or not to “give” students a zero. In our educational context it is very important to establish some broad parameters when determining the efficacy of assigning a grade of zero. Students will not be “given” a grade, they must earn a grade.

With that and the purpose of grading in mind, the assigned (or earned) grade must reflect the achievement level of the student. If grading accurately reflects student achievement on any given assignment then the logic of assigning grades becomes very clear. If a student does not complete an assignment or fails to turn in an assignment over a length of time, then that student has not shown any measureable achievement. In similar vein, on assessments (both formative and summative) it is important for a student to be assigned the grade that corresponds with their demonstrated achievement. In other words the students’ grades shall reflect their achievement on any and all assignments in which grades are taken. [3]

Unfortunately this leads to a rather troublesome issue of assigning grades to work that is turned in late or is not completed. It is not effective or accurate to enforce a zero-tolerance policy with assignments. This type of policy states that if an assignment (think homework or similar task) is not turned in on time that a zero is automatically the appropriate grade. The student shall still be required the complete the assignment, and the student’s grade on that assignment shall reflect their achievement. However there must also be some form of grade penalty if a student is late with an assignment. The penalty shall be in accordance with the assignment while still allowing a student to complete the required work. (ex. 10 points off for each day a homework assignment is late) However, there comes a point when it is indeed too late to turn in an assignment and a grade of zero is warranted and has been earned. (ex. After a homework assignment is more than a few days late, the student would then earn a grade of zero)

If there are extenuating circumstances and other legitimate issues that impact the quality of student work, please contact the teacher directly. Dealing with issues before grades become a problem is proactive and far more effective than waiting until grades have already been posted.

[1] Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

[2] http://sbepolicy.dpi.state.nc.us/policies/GCS-L004.asp?pri=01&cat=L&pol=004&acr=GCS All high school and high school credit courses are compelled to use a 10-point grading scale.

[3] Kohn, A. (1999, March 1). From Degrading to De-Grading. HIGH SCHOOL MAGAZINE. and For students’ sake, say no to ‘No-Zero Policy’ on grading (Catalyst Chicago)