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  Modesto City Schools > Students and Parents > Pages > Grades and Attendance

 Grades and Attendance


 Do all teachers post grade and attendance information to the PowerSchool server?

All teachers at the middle schools and high school post grade and attendance information. We ask for your patience as we continue to train and support our staff in this endeavor.

 Why is it that sometimes the information I see is not accurate?

MCS has provided this system as a convenience. Grades and other information provided by this system are not official records and may or may not be accurate. Neither this institution nor PowerSchool accepts any responsibility for information provided by this system and/or for any damages resulting from information provided by this system. For official grades and student records contact your school. We are working with our faculty to achieve consistency. Please be patient as we are developing this program to be the best it can be.

 How often can we expect attendance to be updated?

Because all teachers take attendance using the PowerSchool system, you should be able to monitor your child's attendance on a daily basis. Please keep in mind that attendance data may not be complete until the end of the school day. Checking attendance for the previous day may be more accurate than checking for the current day.

 How often can we expect grades to be updated?

There are many factors that determine how soon a teacher can assess and return assignments. Essays and research papers take longer to grade than a quiz. We encourage staff to post grades every 10 days at the minimum, and we urge students and parents to be patient as teachers do their best to return assignments and post grades as promptly as their schedule allows.

Use PowerSchool to monitor you child's progress. Look for any unusual changes in grades or attendance, but realize that the final grade for a course is based on a number of factors, often including class participation, extra credit, dropping lowest grade, etc. Your child's grade may appear unusually high or low at the beginning of the year when there have been few assignments. Your child's grade may appear lower during the quarter, but the final grade may actually be higher once all factors have been included. The opposite may also be true. The information made available to you through PowerSchool should not be considered a substitute for a dialog with your child's teacher.

 How quickly and often can I expect a teacher to respond to my emails?

Teacher email addresses are posted in PowerSchool. You may communicate with the teacher through your personal email or by phone. If you choose to use email, realize that due to the nature of the job, most teachers have little time to respond to email during the school day. Do not expect an immediate response to email messages. Any correspondence with the teacher through email is considered public record. For more detailed information, you should schedule a conference with your child's teacher. When sending email to a teacher, it is advisable to use an email address with a valid-sounding name. A teacher who receives a message from might very well ignore the message, thinking that it was probably junk mail or spam. It is also important to include the name of your child in the subject line.

 Do all teachers use the same grading scales?

No. The grading scale is not dependent upon the teacher. It is dependent upon the course. Most courses are defined to use the standard 0-100 grade scale. However, some courses, such as AP and Honors courses at MCS have a weight attached. This weighting is calculated into the grade scale. The grade scale for a particular course is determined by the school administrators and guidance counselors.

 Teachers sometimes weight different categories of grades. How does this affect how a grade is calculated?

How teachers weight grades is an individual decision. Below are the three methods used for grading.
Grading Methods:
When viewing scores and averages in PowerSchool, please be aware that there are different ways of determining a student’s average. Our teachers choose the method that best fits the courses and students they teach. General descriptions of the possible methods are listed below.

Total Points:
This method determines the student's grade by dividing the number of points earned by the number of points possible over the course of the grading term. The possible points may vary depending on the type of assignment. For example, a test may be worth 100 points, a quiz 50 points, and a homework assignment 10 points.
See the Calculation.

Category Points:

When teachers use this method, they first create categories of assignments (i.e. tests, quizzes, labs, homework, etc.). Then they specify the weight of each category of assignments for the final grade calculation. For example, a teacher may calculate final grades using 50% from tests scores, 30% from quizzes or labs, and 20% from homework assignments. Together, the categories equal 100%.
See the calculation.

Single Assignment:
This method allows teachers to weigh important assignments more than other assignments for final grades. For example, a teacher using this method would grade all assignments based on 100 points, but choose to double the test scores making them count twice as much as homework.
See the calculation.

*PLEASE NOTE: These grading methods may also be combined. Teachers can use different point values within the Category Points method, or double a single assignment within the Total Points method. Specific grading information for your child’s classes may be described on the “Class Score Detail” page above the list of assignments. Grades that do not average to a whole number will be adjusted according to the following: .5 and above: rounded to the next whole number, below .5: truncated to the current whole number.