OnCourse was implemented at Ogdensburg School as a tool to increase communication between parents and teachers.
We believe that along with teachers it is also important for parents to become educated in the process of grades and assessment. Before OnCourse, parents received grade information only upon request or at scheduled times – progress reports, end of each marking period. With OnCourse it will now be possible for parents to check grade information at any point in the marking period. With that in mind, parents need to know and understand the following:
- Each teacher has his/her own grading system. Some teachers work on a straight point system while others weight the scores according to assignment categories (tests, quizzes, etc). Some give grades for class participation while others do not accept late work. Our teachers inform all of their students at the beginning of the year of what their expectations and grading system will be for the class. For this reason it is very important for parents to discuss grading policies with their children.
- Grades can change dramatically in the first few weeks of each marking period. In the beginning of each marking period you may see major shifts in the grade average of your child. This is simply because when there are only one or two assignments in the grade book, a low or high score can make a dramatic change in the overall grade.
- Teachers need time to grade projects, assignments, and tests. Each day teachers are expected to have new material and lesson plans ready for class. Many teachers are also involved in extra-curricular activities that take time to plan and attend. With that in mind, teachers need time to get the assignment graded. For example, a teacher will not be able to post grades for an essay assignment the next day when he/she has 24 students in a class. We have asked our teachers to have all major test and project grades entered into OnCourse within a reasonable time of the due date. Please be patient as it does take time.
When a student’s grade(s) is of concern, we ask that you follow these steps:
- Talk with your child first. Ask him/her what the situation is with the grade(s).
- Check the date of the assignment. An assignment handed in late may receive deductions from its score. Also, as stated previously, early in the marking period overall grades can fluctuate dramatically because of the number of assignments in the grade book.
- In trying to clarify a class average, see if there are any missing or late assignments that could be affecting the overall grade average.
- At anytime you can email a teacher for clarification about grades, but the above mentioned steps might answer some of your questions or concerns.
Ogdensburg School is committed to providing twenty-first century opportunities for its students. We hope you use and enjoy the many benefits of this excellent communication tool, the OnCourse Grade Portal.