Grades Overview

There are several exciting updates to grading and grade calculations in the Summit Learning Platform for the 2019-20 school year. These include the ability to configure grade weighting by course, simplified calculation for Cognitive Skills scores, and an updated assessment framework for mathematics courses. 

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



The new 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

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The new default setting for Math courses is:

  • 70% Unit Assessment scores
  • 10% Portfolio Problem scores
  • 20% Focus Area progress

Portfolio Problems:

  • Are application-based problems that accompany each Math Unit
  • Portfolio Problems are scored on a 0-2 scale with half-point increments possible
  • The default setting is that Portfolio Problems are worth 10% of the math grade
  • Portfolio Problems will not be available in Math 4 or Math 5, but will be available in all other Base Curriculum math courses
  • In courses without Portfolio Problems (or when the weighting of Portfolio Problems is set to 0) then the other components of the course will determine the final grade

This resource further explains math scoring.

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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 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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