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Administrative Procedure 364: Grading for Learning

Grading practices of Palliser School Division are designed to encourage student success and support learning.  The purpose of grading is to communicate high-quality information to stakeholders.  Effective grades need to meet four overarching criteria for success:  they must be consistent, accurate, meaningful, and must support learning. (O’Connor, 2007)


  1. Assessment means the process of collecting information on student achievement and performance to improve student learning.
  2. Evaluation means making decisions about the quality, value or worth of a response for the purpose of providing descriptive feedback (formative) and grades (summative).
  3. Formative assessment means assessment experiences that result in an ongoing exchange of information between students and teachers about student progress toward clearly specified learner outcomes. This information is not used for grading purposes.
  4. Summative assessment means assessment experiences designed to collect information about learning to make judgments about student performance and achievement at the end of a period of instruction to be shared with those outside classrooms.  This data is compiled as a grade.
  5. Achievement means a student’s demonstration of knowledge, skills and attitudes relative to grade-level learner outcomes.
  6. Grade (Mark) is a statement of student achievement, at a point in time, relative to curriculum standards.


  1. Grades will be based on the outcomes of the Alberta Programs of Study. Teachers will gather direct evidence of student achievement in relation to specific learning outcomes.
  2. Teachers will use a variety of assessment tools and evaluation methods with their students to determine achievement.
  3. Teachers will include only evidence from summative assessments intended to document learning.  As learning is a progressive and incremental process, students will be provided opportunities to practice and learn before a professional judgment is made.
  4. Teachers will use the most current information to provide the most accurate depiction of the student’s learning at the present time.  This supports that learning is developmental and will grow with time and repeated opportunities.
  5. The principal will ensure that appropriate grading practices are being used so that continuous student learning is supported and grades are an accurate reflection of student achievement.

Principles of Fair Assessment Practices for Education in Canada (1993)
Emerging Data:  Grading . . . More Than Just Number Crunching (Alberta Assessment Consortium, 2001)
A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades (O’Connor, 2007)
How to Grade for Learning  (O’Connor, 2002)
Developing Grading and Reporting Systems for Student Learning (Guskey and Bailey, 2001)
Effective Student Assessment and Evaluation in the Classroom: Knowledge and Skills and Attributes (Alberta Education, 2006)

Cross Reference: Administrative Procedure 361 - Communicating Student Achievement