Policies on Promotion, Retention, and Grading Systems

  • The Rochester City School District introduced two new policies that were approved by the Board of Education in August 2023: Promotion and Retention Policy 4750 and Grading Systems Policy 4710. Policy 4750 outlines the way students in grades 7-8 are promoted to future grade levels and Policy 4710 establishes a shift to a numerical grading system, on a scale of 0-100% for students, in grades 6-12. 

    Letters to grades 6-8 and 9-12 families from Demario Strickland, Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, are linked below to help explain both policies:

Promotion and Retention for Grades 7 and 8

  • Starting this school year, students in grades 7 and 8 who fail two or more subjects will not be promoted without a viable plan that shows they can meet grade-level standards. What this means is students who do not receive a final average of 65% or higher in their core classes (English Language Arts, math, science, and social studies) will be required to attend summer school.

    As a school community, we are responsible for ensuring students are prepared for secondary school and beyond. Passing these courses and completing assignments are important for academic success and future opportunities.

Grading Systems for Grades 6-12

  • This school year, the District is transitioning from the traditional letter grading system to a numerical grading system on a scale of 0-100% for students in grades 6-12. The move to a numerical grading system is driven by a commitment to enhance the clarity, accuracy, and fairness in how students are being assessed.

      • Precision and Transparency: Numerical grades provide a more precise representation of a student’s performance. They offer a clearer picture of the strengths and areas for improvement in each subject, allowing students to understand their progress better.
      • Feedback and Goal Setting: Numerical grades facilitate specific feedback, which can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses. This feedback is essential for setting clear academic goals and making improvements.
      • College and University Recognition: Many colleges and universities recognize numerical grading systems when evaluating applications. By aligning our grading system with these institutions, we aim better to prepare our students for the transition to higher education.
      • Equity and Fairness: The numerical grading system reduces the subjectivity associated with letter grades, ensuring a more equitable evaluation of student performance.
      • College and Career Readiness: Preparing students for the future is a fundamental part of our mission. Numerical grades empower students to develop a competitive edge in a global academic and job market.

    It is important to note that Advance Placement, Dual-Credit, and International Baccalaureate will be the only classes where additional weight is placed on the numerical grade achieved, as these require more rigorous coursework. Also, student transcripts will be converted to numeral grades. If a letter grade was not converted to a numeric grade, the student will receive the highest number within that numerical grade band for that letter. For example, an A is represented by students scoring from 90-94. If the grade reported was an A and not a numerical grade, the student will have a 94 designated on their transcript.