English Department Grading Policy/Rubric
Three main factors determine students’ final grades in English classes:
Preparedness (completing the nightly reading and taking the initiative to record questions, comments and connections – on post-its, or in journals, notebooks, etc. – and meeting all deadlines for essays, drafts and projects)
Enthusiastic and productive participation (in full- and small-group discussions, in minutes presentations, and in all aspects of classwork, including active and respectful listening)
Grades on major writing assignments, presentations, quizzes and exams
Final grades are cumulative; all three marking periods matter.
97-100: You are well-prepared for class each day and almost never miss a reading assignment or writing deadline. As a result, you participate in class discussions almost every day and your comments are text-based and make meaningful connections to previous lessons, units and the world outside the classroom. You respect and support your classmates, listening to and taking notes on what they say, and often citing them in your own comments. Your writing is creative, analytical and sophisticated, offering pleasure, insight and a sense of discovery in every paragraph, and may actually transcend the strictures of the assignments. You are constantly looking for new ways to make English class more productive and engaging – through your detailed comments on classmates’ papers on revision days, your lively, creative and generous minutes presentations and the good example you set for your peers each day by asking questions, initiating new topics, challenging classmates’ thinking, and making unsolicited contributions.
94-96: You are almost always well-prepared for class, and rarely fail to meet essay, draft and project deadlines. You participate in class discussions most days; your comments are text-based and usually make meaningful connections to previous lessons, units and the world outside the classroom. You respect and support your classmates, listening to and taking notes on what they say, and often citing them in your own comments. Your writing is consistently excellent, and meets all the criteria of the assignments using sophisticated language and complex ideas OR is consistently brilliant and creative with control (grammar, punctuation, word choice, etc.) lagging just a small step behind your ideas. You make English class more productive and engaging, and set a good example for your peers each day.
92-93: You are usually well-prepared for class, and meet most essay, draft and project deadlines. You regularly participate in class discussions and your comments are thoughtful and text-based. You respect and support your classmates, listening to and taking notes on what they say, and regularly citing them in your own comments. Your writing is consistently strong and, while it may be marred by minor errors, still offers genuine insight and a strong sense of engagement. You are diligent and hard-working, but may be cautious about taking intellectual risks OR you may be lively and engaged, but occasionally slip off-task.
A semester grade of 92 or above implies that you have the teacher’s recommendation to enroll in an AP class if you so desire.
90-91: You are usually well-prepared for class, and meet most essay, draft and project deadlines. You listen respectfully to your classmates, and when you participate in class discussions your comments tend to be thoughtful and text-based, although you may be reserved, which limits your ability to demonstrate (and for your teacher to assess) your learning. You are developing good writing skills, and while your writing may be marred by structural flaws or minor lapses in control, it is largely articulate, well-organized, and contains inspired and effective passages OR it may be limited in vision, but is nevertheless well-structured and well-written.
85-88: You demonstrate more compliance than engagement, doing what is required without often taking initiative to record or share questions, comments and connections, or to add something new to the class discussion or dynamic. You may seem reluctant about or indifferent to sharing ideas with classmates. Your writing is competent, if inconsistent, and suggests that you grasp the big ideas and possess the skills the assignment hopes to assess OR shows promise but is marred by lapses in analysis or control.
75-80: You seem to bring little energy or enthusiasm to the class, and your work habits reflect and reinforce this image. You may miss some work deadlines, or the work that you bring to class may be perfunctory or incomplete. Your writing tends to evince little engagement with or real insight into the topics OR is earnest work that shows a basic grasp of the big ideas but suffers from a distracting number of lapses in analysis or control. You may not seek help – by meeting with the teacher, visiting the writing center, etc. – outside of class.
65-70: You may regularly miss classes and work deadlines; when you are present you are often unprepared, and your behavior may sometimes be distracting or inappropriate. You may have missed some major assignments, and the writing you do submit suggests that you miss many of the big ideas and/or lack most of the skills the assignments hope to assess.
55: You have not completed enough classwork for the instructor to make a fair and reasonable evaluation of your knowledge, comprehension, contributions and skills. The majority of your written assessments are wholly ineffective, missing or – even worse – plagiarized.
Please be aware that:
●Students should expect no fewer than four major assignments (all with a significant writing component) over the course of the term. (Due to the decreased class size, Freshman Composition classes have a minimum of five major writing assignments per term.) Students should also expect nightly homework, which may include reading and writing tasks.
●Teachers are expected to assign – and return, with thoughtful feedback – at least one major written assignment per marking period.
●The English Department adheres to Stuyvesant’s Vacation Homework Policy (see hyperlink). Students may be assigned reading or writing over a vacation, provided that they are provided ample time before and after the vacation to complete them.
●Since class work and participation are considered criteria for assessing performance, attendance and promptness are critical. Students with legitimate absences have the right to a reasonable opportunity to make up missed work; make-up essay and examination deadlines are at the discretion of the teacher.
●Cutting classes and/or excessive lateness will severely impact a student’s grade.
●Plagiarism will not be tolerated. A student who violates Stuyvesant’s Academic Honesty Policy (see hyperlink) will receive a failing grade for the assignment and may fail for the term.
●In some second term senior classes, the culminating project (which should be introduced early in the term, and which seniors are expected to work on all semester long) may replace two smaller assignments. Teachers of second term seniors are nevertheless expected to collect and return at least one major assignment per marking period. A senior may fail a course for not completing an English culminating project.