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The Grades & Comments tab in the Teacher Portal allows teachers to manage all aspects of their students’ grades on a class-by-class basis. Grading options for these Classes, such as numeric, student comments, qualitative, etc., can be customized by using Report Card Form Templates. A Report Card Form Template can also be designed to accommodate specific grading scenarios for each class.
Grades & Comments Tab Layout
There are two layout options for the Grades & Comments tab: Student Detail and Class Summary.
Depending upon the school level and type of class, one layout option may be preferred over another. For example, a lower school teacher may prefer to use the Student Detail layout option, because it allows them to view numeric grades, qualitative rubric criteria, proficiency levels and student comments for all grading periods for just one student at a time. Whereas an upper school teacher may prefer to use the Class Summary layout, because it allows them to view all students’ numeric grades on one page.
A teacher can toggle between each layout depending upon which option is best for viewing and entering grades for their different types of classes.
The student detail layout displays one student’s report card form at a time. All other students enrolled in the class are displayed in a list on the left side. Teachers can switch between students to view the details of their report card grades and comments and also enter grades and comments directly from this page.
The class summary layout displays a grid of all students’ scores related to report card grade entry. A column is displayed for each score per grading period. Teachers may update scores directly from this grid. In order for a grading period column to appear here by default, the following must be true:
- The Grading period is "open for grading" on the Display and Grading tab of the relevent report card form configuration.
- The Grading period is marked as ‘active’ on the Active Grading Periods query.
Schools may set a default layout option so that when a teacher opens the Grades & Comments tab the preferred layout for that class is always displayed. Default layouts are set per class using the Faculty Portal Grades Layout field on the Other tab on the Class record.
Schools can select one of two options:
- Class Summary – default to the overall class detail tab.
- Student Detail – default to the individual student detail tab.
Report Card Form Templates
Once a layout option is selected, all other configuration for grade and comment entry is completed through Report Card Form Templates. A template represents one grading scenario in which all appropriate classes are assigned.
Schools can create as many report card form templates as they would like. When adding templates, schools should think carefully about how they want teachers to enter grades for the particular grading scenario and use that to inform how they set up the form.
As report card form templates are created, classes that best match with that scenario of grading can be assigned to that template. All classes assigned will adhere to the grade-entry conditions specified on the template.
Examples of grading scenarios schools might create are: academic classes grading templates, elective classes grading templates and homeroom classes grading templates.
Adding Templates & Associating them to Class Records
Each grading scenario should receive its own report card form template. Review the steps below to see the basic process for adding a new Template and linking the template to the appropriate classes.
- Add a new report card form template by selecting “Report Card Form Configuration” from the Add drop-down menu on the System homepage.
- Complete all configuration settings on the General tab.
- Add the Template.
- Determine which grading periods should be displayed and/or open for grading for this template by selecting the appropriate checkboxes on the Display & Grading tab.
- Determine data input options, Numeric, Qualitative and/or Comments, that will be available for the classes assigned to this template.
Associate all classes that will use this template for grade input with the Report Card Form Template record by opening each Class Record and selecting the appropriate template from the Report Card Form drop down on the Other tab of the Class Record.
The General tab on the Report Card Form Configuration record determines which grading period group the template is linked to and what sections will be available for grade entry and review on the Grades & Comments tab in the Teacher Portal.
The name of the report card form template. Be as descriptive as possible to provide clarity as to exactly which classes will be assigned to this template.
Grading Period Group
Select which grading period group to which this template applies. This determines the major and minor grading periods that are displayed and available for grading.
This read-only system field will populate with “Content Type” upon adding the template.
Enable Letter Dropdown: some schools allow teachers to enter letter grades for their students. If a school enables the letter dropdown, the system will use the grade conversion scale that has been selected on the class to generate the letter grade options that will appear in this list for teachers. When the teacher has selected the appropriate letter grade for the student, the system will then use the grade conversion scale’s stored value as the numeric equivalent for that letter grade. This grade is then populated on the student’s grade record.
Disable Letter Dropdown: Some schools do not allow teachers to input the letter grades for their students. Instead the teacher will enter the posted grade for the student based upon the calculated grade. When the teacher enters the posted grade, the system will display the letter grade equivalent based upon the grade conversion scale configuration. Schools who prefer this set up should disable the letter drop down on the Report Card Form.
Internal Notes: schools can write internal notes to describe what this template is used for and what they are trying to accomplish for this grading scenario. Notes entered in this field will only be visible on this tab.
Select which sections on the Grades & Comments tab will be available for grade entry on the Student Detail layout. Schools should leave any section that should not be displayed unchecked (e.g. non-qualitative grading schools will always leave that checkbox unchecked). Leaving a box unchecked will remove the entire section from the Grades and Comments tab. It will no longer be available for grade-entry for the teachers.
- Numeric Grades: displays a grade entry box for numeric grades, exams, other grades, and grading period status.
- Qualitatives: displays a qualitative grade entry box for rubric categories, rubrics, criteria, and qualitative comments.
- Overall Comments: class comments (does not affect qualitative comments).
- Section MYP Criteria: displays a MYP grading section. This option should only be checked for IB MYP schools that have purchased the IB Module.
Select which documents the teachers of the classes linked to this form will be able to preview from the Grades & Comments tab. Each document enabled will be available as a separate dropdown menu tab in the Student Detail section. Teachers can select different grading periods to review past and current documents for the school year.
For each Report Card Form, schools can write instructions to their teachers. Instructions appear below the student’s name and document options on the Student Detail layout and above the student grade grid in the Class Summary detail. This text can be used to communicate clearly to teachers exactly how they should enter grades for the particular report card form template.
Display & Grading Tab
The Display & Grading tab specifies which grading periods are visible on the Teacher Portal as well as which grading periods are open for grade entry.
When a Grading Period Group is linked with the Template from the General tab, all major and minor grading periods within the group will be added and available for configuration.
- Display: Schools can check off the Status checkbox next to each grading period to indicate what grading periods will be displayed on the Teacher Portal.
- Open for Grading: Schools can check off the Status checkbox for each grading period they would like open for grade entry on the Teacher Portal. Open for Grading provides read/write access to numeric grades only.
- Open for Comments: Schools can set numeric grades to read only while allowing teachers to continue writing comments for their students in the teacher portal by checking off the Status checkbox for Open for Comments. Open for Comments provides read/write access to comments only.
Please note: Both “Open for Grading” and “Open for Comments” must be enabled for schools that enter numeric grades and comments simultaneously in the teacher portal.
All rows that have been checked off are highlighted in green to allow for quick scanning of what is currently visible and open for grading on the report card form. When grading periods are set to display, teachers will have the ability to toggle between the different grading periods on the Grades and Comments tab to view past grades for students for the school year.
The Numeric tab displays all grade options that factor into a student’s calculated and posted term grade for each grading period.
Schools can choose to turn on various numeric grades to allow teachers to pull these grades into their Class Summary grid. Each selected numeric grade will also display under the specific grading period sections on the Student Detail tab.
There are several grade options that may be enabled for display or grade entry for each grading period:
- Calculated Assignment Numeric/Letter Grade: (for terms only) the calculated term grade based only on assignment and does not include exams.
- Posted Assignment Numeric/Letter Grade: (for terms only) the posted term grade based only on assignments and does not include exams.
- Calculated Numeric/Letter Grade: the student’s current calculated grade in the class.
- Exam Numeric/Letter Grade: the term exam grade.
- Posted Numeric/Letter Grade: the posted grade in the class based on the calculated grade.
The Qualitative grade tab displays all grade options that contribute to a student’s non-numeric grades per grading period. This includes qualitative grading as well as other non-numeric grades such as a class status. Each selected option will display as either a column in the qualitative grade section of the report card form or in the specific grading period section.
- Qualitative: displays a column for the grading period in the Qualitative section of the report card form. All rubric criteria configured for the class will be available for grade input from this column.
- Status: the student’s status in the class (e.g. pass, fail, FE exempt, etc.).
- Other Grade 1/Other Grade 2: school specified grade entry fields for a single overall grade in addition to the numeric grade (e.g. effort grade). Contact your Account Manager to configure each of these additional grade options.
The Comments tab displays all options related to comments available for entry by the teacher. Schools can check off the Allow checkbox for each type of comment that they want to allow teachers to enter on the Teacher Portal.
There are two types of comments that may be enabled per grading period:
- Comments: the overall class comments displayed in the Comments section on the Student Detail tab. Also known as Student Comments, which are comments that are specific to each student’s progress in the class. A tab will be available for each grading period that has been enabled allowing teachers to view past comments written for that school year.
- Standard Comments: pre-configured comments that are used by all teachers. For example: Doesn’t Turn in Homework, Listens Attentively, Is Courteous to Others. Please contact your Account Manager to set up the configuration for standard comments.
Curriculum comments cannot be displayed in this way — the only way to enable/disable the display of the curriculum comments is through the grading period flags.