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Attendance Form, Grade Sheets and Averaging Grades

Attendance Form

The attendance forms have 14 numbered months. Most families begin in August and end in May, following the public school schedule in their area, but you can have school any day you choose, regardless of the “normal schedule.” Below the calendar are the teacher certification boxes for the parent to initial and give the date each quarter was finished.

NOTE: By choosing to enroll in a private school, you have agreed to provide attendance, and we are required to have that attendance on file or your student must be marked “truant.”
• Any student who has no attendance or grades 90 days after enrollment or the beginning of the academic year will be marked as truant.
• Any student who has no attendance or grades 120 days after enrollment or the beginning of the academic year will be withdrawn as inactive, and a reinstatement fee of $50 will apply.

Sick Days and Field Trips

Most home-based families do not mark absences for sick days, choosing to pick up where they left off before the sick day. If your child missed several days, but completed the academic work for the nine week grading period, please indicate the actual number of days completed during the nine week grading period. A student cannot be absent more than 10 days in a semester and receive credit for courses taken.

Semester Length

A semester consists of the first and second quarter for the 1st semester, and the 3rd and 4th quarter for the second semester.

Field Trips

Field trip days count as a day of attendance just like a traditional school would count them. Activities like “Personal Fitness” would not count as a full day of attendance unless additional school work was included in the day. Many families will plan multiple out-of-the-home, school-related activities on the same day each week to reduce the distractions on textbook days. An example would be Homeschool P.E. from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 in the morning, then two hours at the library for research and reading material for the week, followed by lunch and, finally, band in the afternoon. Now, that is a school day!

Student Grade Sheet

The attendance and grading system in Florida is based on a four quarter system. Each of the four quarters is equal to 45 days in a classroom at 50 minutes per class. That’s where we get the standard of 150 hours in the class for one high school credit in a 180 day school year. Some schools operate on a modified “block” system that doubles the class time each day, completing a full credit course in just one semester instead of the full year.

There are many challenges in accurately tracking grades with home-based students. First, they sometimes work ahead in a subject (Of course they are never behind in a subject.), which has sometimes distorted their actual grade for a grading period. At Families of Faith our students use curriculum from a variety of publishers, and every student doesn’t start on the same day. Then, add the number of course choices. There are 58 different high school credits in English alone, not counting the dual enrollment options taken at the community college. With all of the variables, it is critical that the communication between the parent/teacher and the school be accurate, which is where the Student Enrollment Form and Student Grade Sheet comes into play.

The Student Enrollment Form is the starting point. Once the parents/teachers have selected their curriculum for the year, FOFCAI can customize the Student Grade Sheet with the number of chapters, tests or units already divided into the four quarter grading system. The parent/teacher averages grades for that unit, fills in the appropriate box, and the correct grade for the amount of material will be credited to each quarter, even when the student is not on the exact schedule by days. Some publishers (like School of Tomorrow, Alpha Omega, Apologia and Saxon) are already in our system. If you are using Bob Jones, Abeka or other publishers, you may be asked to provide an index with chapter headings so we can add the textbooks or the updated version you have chosen to the system.

Below is a sample grade sheet with School of Tomorrow 12th grade English, Saxon Algebra II and Apologia Chemistry. When the Records Office inputs the parent/teacher provided grades into the spreadsheet it will average each quarter grade, which then appears on the student’s Report Card that is mailed to the home.

How do I average grades?

Grading systems.
Middle school students (sixth grade and above) must use the A, B, C, D, F system because all colleges, universities, and scholarships (that they may someday wish to take advantage of) use this system. The percentages that make up each grade are 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D,0-59=F. The scale maybe different than when you were in school, but it matches the Florida standard, and is used to calculate the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Families of younger students may use this system or opt for the less rigorous E=Excellent, S=Satisfactory, or N=Needs im- provement.

Averaging grades.
The most common and widely used among homeschoolers is the Mastery Method where only test scores and extra assignments (like book reports) are averaged. Daily work must be mastered before a student is allowed to test, but, if he had to do it three times, those failing attempts do not count against him/her. On a test with 53 questions, if the student got a total of 49 questions correct, you simply divide 53 (the total number of possible points) into 49 (the total number of earned or correct) for a 92%, which is an “A.”

You determine the grade by dividing the number of questions into the number of correct answers and get the percentage grade.

Some teachers choose the Total Point Method, where every question asked in the daily work counts as a point, as does every question on the test. The actual averag- ing works the same; you just have a lot more points to work with. This method is most often used for students with learning disabilities.

The third option is widely used among conventional teachers. We call it the Daily Work Average + Test Average. Using this method, you actually have two aver- ages.
* First, you average all of the daily work. If the student did 10 questions daily in Saxon math for 35 lessons, that’s 350 questions divided into the number he got correct for the daily average.
* Then you average the test.
* Finally, add the two averages and divide by two for the final grade.

Some will use three parts: daily work, quizzes and then the mid-term and final exam for the third part. Each part does not have to have the same weight. In Mr. Lawson’s Algebra courses, he counts daily homework as 25% of the final grade, with all the weekly tests as 75%. This rewards students who keep up with their daily assignments, which is key to success in Algebra.

You do not need a fancy spreadsheet to average grades, although a good calcula- tor that you can read without glasses helps. Have fun and, as always, feel free to call the office for assistance in this area.