BCPS Grading Policy

Understanding your child’s academic progress can be confusing, especially when navigating the intricacies of school grading policies. For students and parents in Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), the BCPS Grading Policy serves as a roadmap, outlining how grades are calculated, reported, and interpreted. This blog post aims to demystify the policy, providing a clear and concise overview of its key aspects.

Core Principles of the BCPS Grading Policy

The BCPS Grading Policy builds on six core principles:

  1. Supporting Student Learning: Grading practices should encourage and guide learning, not measure achievement.
  2. Ensuring Equity and Accuracy: Grades should reflect academic achievement solely, not be influenced by factors like behavior or attendance.
  3. Providing Specific and Timely Feedback: Grading criteria and feedback should be clear and provided promptly, allowing students to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Offering Multiple Opportunities: Students should have various ways to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through diverse assessments.
  5. Employing Comprehensive Assessment: Crucially, grades should be based on a comprehensive body of work, not just individual assignments. This ensures a more holistic understanding of student learning and avoids placing undue emphasis on any single performance.
  6. Promoting Inclusive Access: Additionally, accommodations and modifications should be offered to ensure fair and equitable assessment for all students, regardless of individual needs. This promotes inclusive learning environments where every student has the opportunity to demonstrate their full potential.

Breakdown of the BCPS Grading System

  1. Utilizing a Clear Grading Scale: BCPS employs a 10-point grading system, with 10 signifying exceptional achievement and 0 reflecting no mastery. This system applies uniformly across all grade levels and courses.
  2. Providing Regular Reporting: Grades are calculated and reported at the end of each marking period, with four marking periods throughout the academic year. Furthermore, report cards and progress reports provide detailed insights into student performance across various categories.
  3. Using Diverse Assessments: Grades are typically determined by a combination of assessments, encompassing:
    • Formative Assessments: These ongoing evaluations, like classwork and quizzes, offer feedback and guide students’ learning journey. While not directly contributing to final grades, they play a crucial role in supporting progress.
    • Summative Assessments: These assessments, like tests and projects, gauge mastery of learning objectives and directly contribute to final grades.
  4. Recognizing Skills and Conduct: Beyond academic achievement, BCPS utilizes separate indicators to report on student behavior, work ethic, and collaboration skills. BCPS doesn’t include these indicators in final grades, but they gather valuable information about students’ overall development.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I see my child’s grades online? Yes, parents and students can access grades and progress reports through the BCPS online portal, Synergy.
  2. What if I disagree with a grade? If you have concerns about your child’s grade, it’s important to communicate with their teacher first. If you are still unsatisfied, you can follow the established BCPS procedures for grade appeals.
  3. How can I support my child’s academic success? Stay involved in your child’s education and actively communicate with their teachers. Regularly checking in demonstrates your interest and provides valuable insights for both you and the teacher. Furthermore, encourage your child to proactively seek help when needed.


Understanding the BCPS Grading Policy empowers students and parents to navigate the academic journey with confidence. After all, it’s designed to support learning, not just measure achievement. By working together with teachers, utilizing available resources, and actively engaging in the learning process, every student can thrive. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns; together, we can create a supportive environment for success.