NISD: District moving to nine-week grading periods, FAQ available
Northwest ISD will operate on a nine-week grading schedule beginning with the 2019-20 school year, moving from the previous six-week grading schedule.
This move will mean little change beyond the length of the grading period, though it may cause some confusion about specific situations for students and their families. To help clarify the transition, the following FAQ was created by the district for common questions. If you have questions not answered by this FAQ, please email email@example.com, and your message will be directed to the appropriate person.
Nine-Week Grading Period FAQ
What is the difference between the old six-week grading period and the new nine-week grading period?
As their names imply, the only difference between the two grading period systems is their segmented lengths. The old format consisted of six six-week grading periods, while the new format will make use of four nine-week grading periods. This means homework and tests in classes will be calculated into nine-week grades instead of six-week grades. Two semesters will still exist.
Why was this change made?
Following community and staff feedback during the District of Innovation process, the decision to move to a nine-week grading system was made to allow students time to best learn and master material in classes. This change provides students extra time during the grading period to learn a topic before moving onto a new topic, and teachers can better assess if lessons and concepts are learned by students with the expanded grading period.
When will this change begin?
The switch to nine-week grading periods begins with the 2019-20 school year. The 2019-20 calendar can be seen at this link, including grading period beginning and ending dates.
Will this change have any effect on school start or dismissal times?
No, school start and dismissal times will remain the same, as seen here.
How does this change affect extracurricular eligibility?
At the secondary level, students will still be assessed on whether they are passing (obtaining grades of 70 or better in all classes) following each grading period. The only exception occurs during the start of the school year; students must have passing grades in all their classes by the end of the first six weeks of school, as per UIL policy (see pages 3 and 20). After this, they will have three weeks to meet passing levels (the end of the nine-week grading period). Subsequent grade checks will occur at the end of each nine-week grading period.
Will this change affect progress reports?
Parents will still receive electronic progress reports every three weeks. Therefore, parents will receive two progress reports during each nine-week grading period – at the three- and six-week intervals – followed by a report card at the end of the grading period.
Will students still receive a set number of grades per grading period?
Yes, each class has a minimum number of grades that must be met during the nine-week grading period to best reflect a student’s current levels of content mastery. For example, at the secondary level, at least four summative grades (such as major projects or tests) and eight formative grades (such as classwork or regular assignments) are required in a grading period that has a full nine weeks. For information about the required number of grades per grading period, read the elementary and secondary grading guidelines.
My child has an IEP (Individualized Education Program)/ARD (Admission, Review and Dismissal) plan that mentions six-week grading periods. Will this be updated?
Yes, all plans will refer to nine-week grading periods instead of six-week grading periods. Additionally, the Northwest ISD Board of Trustees has updated district policies to make similar changes regarding any district or school policies or procedures.