GPS Grade Enhancement

Summary of GPS Grade Enhancement

Students are eligible to positively impact their second semester grades in courses that are aligned to the high school AZMerit ELA or AZMerit Math End-of-Course assessment if they earn a Proficient or Highly Proficient on the test or demonstrate growth in proficiency levels from the previous year. They are also be eligible to positively impact their Biology course grade for the AIMS Science assessment. This opportunity only benefits a student; a grade would not be lowered by state assessment results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the district impose this enhancement?
The goals are to increase student motivation and accountability for performance and increase connection between school course work and the state assessment.

Who was consulted in the preparation of this change?
A committee comprised of District and Site Administrators, Teachers and Counselors convened in Spring 2018 to research and potentially create a grade enhancement plan for the 2018-2019 academic year. Part of the initial research began in August 2017 and involved communicating with the other school districts, including the East Valley Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Consortium. A survey was sent to all 7-12 teachers in May 2018, which indicated a majority (83%) approval in creating a grade enhancement plan. As a result, GPS Goals for grade enhancement related to state assessment were established. The process was focused on aligning committee goals to our Teaching and Learning Instructional Framework and the District focus on student outcomes in relation to the Arizona Academic Standards. Once the proposal was made, additional feedback from teachers and administrators was solicited 

Why is this just for Grades 7-12?
The state assessment at these grade levels focuses on end of course outcomes, which can be directly tied to a course and its semester grade.

Will any students drop grades with this change?
Students can only benefit from this plan. No grades will be lowered.

How many times a year will students have to complete an assessment?
AzMERIT and AIMS State Assessments are given annually in the Spring. 

Does this process add more assessments for our students?
There is no increase in assessments for students. This plan utilizes the Annual State Assessments that are already in place for students.

When does this start?
This began with assessments taken in the Spring 2019 Semester of the 2018-2019 Academic Year. 

What will this change mean for my student?
This means that your student may have the opportunity to increase a Semester Final Grade in an AzMERIT/AIMS assessed course.

Besides committee members, was input taken from teachers?
Yes, two surveys were given to teachers. The Spring 2018 survey gave teachers four options in regard to what they would prefer: percentage increase, letter grade increase, neither or an open-ended fill-in the blank response. A second survey was sent to teachers in Fall 2018 that asked for input regarding the committee’s recommendation for a plan.

My student is a senior.  How will this impact my graduating senior?
Because AzMERIT is connected to ELA and Mathematics courses bearing credit for Year 1, 2, and 3, these aren’t typically classes seniors take, unless they are off track. Similarly, AIMS is connected to the Life Science (Biology) course, which most GPS students take in ninth grade. For this reason, Graduating Seniors typically would not be affected by this practice.  
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