How will Additional Focus Areas be graded in the 2019-2020 School Year?

Additional Focus Areas (AFAs) are a set of extension focus areas designed to allow students to dive deeper or more widely explore content knowledge for a given course.

  • Schools are able to choose whether or not AFAs will be weighted on a course.
  • If weighted, AFAs can make up to 9% of a student's grade.

  • Unlike Power Focus Areas, students aren’t required to master all AFAs to pass a course; failure to complete one or more AFAs will not generate an ‘incomplete’ grade for a student
    • However, there is a grade penalty for each incomplete AFA. The highest grade a student can receive in a course without passing any AFAs is 100% minus the weight of AFAs (this would be 94% with the default setting) 
    • Parents, mentors and teachers may want to remind students that they will lose overall grade points if they do not complete all their AFAs

Important Grading Notes about Additional Focus Areas:

The new grading philosophy introduced a slight change to when and how AFAs contribute to the grade. Previously, students would see a slight increase in their overall grade at the beginning of the year for AFAs and a slight drop in their overall grade at the end of the year for AFAs not completed. Beginning in 2019-20, this will no longer be the case. As students complete AFAs, they incrementally earn the portion of the grade that each AFA contributes. This means that if a course has 100 days and 10 AFAs (1 due every 10 days), in days 0-9 there will be 1 AFA expected to be completed. The old method would have expected zero AFAs to be completed during days 0-9; the new method would expect one AFA to be completed during that time.

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