Grades Overview

In the Summit Learning Program, assessment of and for learning occurs with three instruments: the Cognitive Skills Rubric, the Proficiency Rubric, and Focus Areas Assessments.

Students’ grades in each course are determined by a combination of inputs from these instruments and represented as a percent grade and a letter grade. The Summit Learning platform automatically calculates and updates students’ grades in real-time.

For an in-depth overview of how grading works, click here.

The default settings for Science, History, and English courses is:

  • 80%: Cognitive Skills through projects
    • Students must complete all projects to pass a course
  • 20%: Focus Area progress assessed through completion of Content Assessments
    • 14% Power Focus Area progress
    • 6% Additional Focus Area progress


The default setting for Math courses:

  • 80% Unit Assessment scores
  • 0% Portfolio Problem scores
  • 20% Focus Area progress

Portfolio Problems are:

  • Optional application-based problems that accompany each Math Unit
  • Scored on a 0-2 scale with half-point increments possible
  • Worth 0% of the math grade by default. However, in courses without Portfolio Problems, grade administrators have the option to revise their weight to up to 10% of the final grade

This resource further explains math scoring.

Schools have the ability to control how factors such as Cognitive Skills scores and Focus Area progress determine students’ grades.  The Grade System Manager:

    • sets the weighting configuration for each course at the school
    • sets the weight of Cognitive Skills scores between 70% - 100% of the grade
    • selects whether or not Additional Focus Areas will be weighted
    • and sets the weight of both Power and Additional Focus Areas

There are three types of Focus Areas:

Power Focus Areas:

  • Students must pass all Content Assessments in Power Focus Areas to pass a course. If a student does not complete all Power Focus Areas, he or she will receive an incomplete on his or her overall grade
  • Students get an incremental % grade increase as they progress through the FAs (both power and additional). This is always updated in real-time
  • If the pace students are completing PFAs is not on track to pass all of them by year's end, they will have an "off track." If they are off track at the end of the year, their final grade will be an "Incomplete"

Additional Focus Areas:

  • Additional Focus Areas are not required to pass a course
  • Additional Focus Areas could represent between 0 and 9 percentage points of a student’s overall grade
  • Schools will be able to choose whether or not Additional Focus Areas will be weighted on a course

Challenge Focus Areas

  • Challenge Focus Areas are not required, and they do not contribute to a student's grade
  • Challenge Focus Areas allow students to go above and beyond, or prepare for standardized tests

Potential reasons for incomplete grades. Students may have incomplete grades in any of the following cases:

Students can change off-track grades into letter grades by completing any overdue projects and improving their Cognitive Skill scores before the grading period ends. The platform will show “Incomplete” as the final grade if the student is off track for any of the reasons above when the grading period ends.

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