Miscellaneous » Grading Policy » Grading Policy {2023-24}

Grading Policy {2023-24}


 PS 261 Grading Policy (2023-2024)

Grades are the common language through which students, teachers, families, and school leaders communicate about students’ learning throughout the school year. Grades provide feedback to students and families about academic progress, influence students’ motivation and engagement in their learning, and inform instructional and programmatic decisions. The NYCDOE citywide grading policy is designed to promote equity, flexibility, and empathy in our grading practices for all students. As we support students, it is more important than ever to ensure that students’ grades accurately represent their progress.

Marking periods are intervals during a course when the teacher of record awards an interim mark, which provides status updates to students, families, and other stakeholders.

1st Marking Period - 9/7/2023 - 12/8/2023

  • Report Cards available online via NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA):  Friday, Dec 8
  • Parent Teacher Conferences:  Thursday, Nov 2nd

2nd Marking Period - 12/11/2023 - 03/7/2024

  • Report Cards available online via NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA):  Wednesday, Mar 6
  • Parent Teacher Conferences:  Thursday, Mar 7th

3rd Marking Period - 3/8/2024 - 6/26/2024

  • Report Cards available online via NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA):  Wednesday, Jun 26th


Grades: The purpose of any system of reporting is to strengthen the home-school partnership, and to inform families of the progress their child is making toward grade-level benchmarks.  They reflect a student’s understanding and command of content, progression through a course or subject, and mastery of skills at a given time. Benchmarks increase over the year. In other words, what a student is expected to know in December differs from what they are expected to know in June. Therefore, a student can meet a benchmark in December and not meet that same benchmark in March. Maintaining the same grade from one marking period to the next means the child demonstrated growth in that indicator or skill.

Grading Scale

PS 261 uses the NYCDOE-approved  4-point grading scale (1-4). Grades reflect a student's academic progress and performance and are determined by considering a student’s entire body of work. Grades are determined by:  classwork (independent work, partner work, and group work), classroom discussions, on-demand assignments, unit assessments, small group work, and student-teacher conferences.

Course Mark

Performance Level Scale

Scale for Social Emotional Development and Academic and Personal Behaviors: 


Exceeds grade standards

Consistently meets expectations with independence


Meeting grade standards

Meets expectations


Approaching grade standards

Meets expectations when reminded/Meets expectations occasionally


Below grade standards

Difficulty meeting expectations

Students with disabilities:  All students, including students with disabilities, should be working toward grade-level standards and should receive grades based on how well they comprehend the content and skills addressed in a course or subject. Grades for students with IEPs are based on your child’s personal IEP goals and rate of progress and not solely on specific grade-level standards. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) describes specially designed instruction and accommodations for an individual student that creates access to grade-level standards and enables progress toward annual goals. Students’ receipt of accommodations does not impact the grade that is earned. Students with disabilities have the same opportunity to earn grades as all other students. Report cards provide feedback on a student’s progress in the general education curriculum and reflect the likelihood a student will meet or has already met their annual goals. The comment section is important because it highlights the child's strengths, areas of focus, and goals moving forward for the year. 

Considerations for accuracy, equity, and social-emotional well-being: 

In alignment with the DOE  vision for culturally responsive-sustaining education, the following is taken into consideration:

  • Accuracy:  Grades should accurately measure what we expect students to demonstrate in their learning so that we maintain high expectations for all students;
    • For example:  Grading student work for the understanding of concepts and mastery of skills is different from grading based on completion of assignments alone. When student work is graded based on how well students understand the content and perform in the subject, the students and teachers receive valuable information about how well the students are doing. 
  • Equity:  Grades should minimize the effects of bias and eliminate practices that penalize students who have been marginalized based on their race, culture, language, and/or ability; 
    • For example:   When possible, we offer assessments in multiple modalities to ensure that the method of expression does not interfere with a student’s demonstration of their proficiency. 
  • Social-emotional well-being:  Grades should contribute to a positive learning culture that promotes academic risk-taking and social-emotional well-being and de-emphasizes both competitions for grades and grading based on factors beyond the scope of the classroom and beyond students’ control, such as attendance, housing status, and access to study space and Wi-Fi.
    • For example,  Student work and feedback connect to a specific learning goal. If an assignment does not correspond to a stated learning goal, it measures students’ compliance rather than their learning. Feedback and grades over time on specific learning goals maximize transparency and provide more directed support. Systems for celebrating student excellence can include recognizing meaningful progress as well as meaningful contributions to the school or wider community, and demonstrations of social justice and integrity (e.g. writing celebrations).
Assessments –Side-by-side snaphot