Letter Grade Gradebook Teachers's Guide
  • 29 Mar 2023
  • 11 Minutes to read
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Letter Grade Gradebook Teachers's Guide

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  • PDF

Article Summary

Letter Grade Gradebook Teacher's Guide

Adding Categories

 At the top of the screen is a menu.  If you click on the name of the section (Math 6 in this example) the menu opens up to allow you to choose other classes.  





The next menu to the right is Gradebook.  

The logical place to begin setting up your gradebook is Categories.   Categories are types of assignments such as chapter tests, homework, etc.  This allows you to calculate grades based on assigning weight to these categories.   When you click on the Categories button the form below is displayed. 


Click on the New Category button to add a category.  The first category added in this example was Homework with a weight of 40.  It makes sense to have the categories add up to 100 which in the above example makes the Tests category worth 60% of the grade.  You can choose to drop the lowest score of any individual assignment in each category by checking the “Drop lowest score” box.  


Checking the “Use Weighted Categories” box causes the calculations to respect the category weights, which gives you the ability to weight individual assignments within a category.  

Calculations: Points vs. Weights

The gradebook can calculate using 1) only total points or 2) with a combination of points and weights.  At the simplest level the points of an individual assignment are used to calculate the grade for the assignment.  For example, if an assignment is given 100 points and a student scores 82, the percent of that assignment is 82%.  Similarly, if an assignment is given 50 points and a student scores 37, 37/50 = 74%.   If no weighting is applied, the final grade will be total points earned across all assignments divided by total points possible across all assignments.


With weighting you can determine the weight of individual assignments within the average at both the assignment and the category levels.  For example, within a category such as Tests or Class Work you can weight all the assignments the same or weight some heavier than the others.   You still need points to make the percentages for individual assignments (e.g. 37/50 = 74%) but beyond that the points are of no consequence.  At the category level you can weight categories such as Tests (perhaps 60%) or Class Work (perhaps 40%) for the final quarter or trimester average. 

Setting up Grading Scales 

 Clicking on Grading Scale brings up the form below.


Initially this is read in from the default grading scale used in SchoolWise for calculating GPAs.   You can change it if you wish, but within SchoolWise the GPA calculations work off of the default scale.   A best practice would be for the whole school to agree on one scale.  The Reset arrow is enabled if you change the default scale to something else.   Clicking the Reset arrow causes the changed value to revert back to the system default.


The Decimal Places for Rounding menu sets the way rounding occurs in the gradebook.



Adding Assignments

From the gradebook click either the New button or the Add Assignment Column. 




Enter the assignment name, category, points, due date, and due date sequence number (default value is 1, higher numbers mean newer assignments within the same date).

Note: If you set the points to zero the assignment becomes extra credit.



Going back to the gradebook we see: 


Chapter 1 Test is there.  Typing in student scores causes the calculations to begin functioning. 

Add Assignments to Multiple Classes at Once 

Teachers can add new assignments to more than one class section at the same time. At the bottom of the New Assignment dialog, you can choose a number of ways to select which sections to add the new assignment to.  For this feature to function properly, each section to which you want to copy an assignment must have identically spelled Assignment Category names.

This Section Only

The new assignment will be added to the current section only. This is the default setting.

All my Sections of this Course

The new assignment will be added to all your sections of the same course. For example if you teach three sections of Grade 5 Math, you can choose this option to add the new assignment to all three of those math sections. If the other sections do not have a matching Assignment Category, the category from the current section will be copied to the other sections. This option is only available if you teach more than one section of the same course during the same marking period.   Please note that if one section has an assignment category of “Test” (singular) for example and a separate section has an assignment category of “Tests” (plural), a new category of “Test” (singular) will be created in the second class and perhaps affect your assignment category calculations in ways you did not plan for.  This is why Assignment Categories must be named consistently between sections.   

All my Sections that have a matching Category Name

The new assignment will be added to all your class sections that have the same Assignment Category defined spelled exactly the same. For example, say you teach 5th Grade English, 6th Grade English, and 5th Grade Math. If both of your English sections have a category named “Essays” (and your Math class doesn't), then you can add the same Essay Assignment to both English classes using this option.  

Entering Student Scores 

Generally you enter student scores as numbers.  The numeric scores figure into the average calculaton.  If an assignment has a point value of 100, then a entering 90 calculates as 90%.  If there are only 5 points for an assignment, then entering a 4 calculates as 80%.  Giving a student scores of 99 on one assignment and 0 on another results in the following average. 





Entering Notes with Scores  

If you enter any letter (except M) the value is ignored, and essentially excused.  






Even if you type in an F it still has no effect.







This is a useful feature because it allows you to enter a number, then a space and a short comment.  An example could be if a student turns an assignment in late, you could enter something like 70 late.  It will calculate the 70 but you still can see the comment.







Let’s say a student is having issues at home or is just having an off day.   If you enter text first and then the number the score will be ignored.  




Marking Assignments as Missing

Use the letter M to indicate Missing assignment.   







 A score of M calculates as a zero and includes the assignment in reports to find students with missing assignments.


Set same score for all students


At the top of every assignment column in the grade-book is a three-line “hamburger” menu button.


Clicking on this menu displays: 





 Choosing Set Same Score for All Students allows you to enter a value that will be copied to all students in that column for a given assignment. If you have any previously set scores they will not be overwritten.


How to Import Google Classroom Assignment Grades 

Goggle Classroom Limitations:

  • Google Classroom does not utilize marking periods. Grades are calculated for the duration of the class. If you want to begin grading again for a new term or semester, you have to create a new class.
  • When you export Google Classroom grades, grade categories are not exported.
  • It is not feasible to import Google Classroom class assignment grades into standards-based gradebooks since real standards-based gradebooks use assessments that include 1 or more skills and every skill would have to be mapped manually to the specific skill sets and rubrics used in your SIS gradebooks.

Google Classroom grades for a specific class assignment can be imported into a SchoolWise letter gradebook as follows:

Step 1:  Ensure the Google Classroom student email address matches your SIS student email address. This email address is used as a key for importing grades.

Step 2: Download your Google Classroom class assignment grades to a comma-separated values (CSV) file as follows:

  • Sign in to your classroom.google.com account and click your specific class.
  • At the top, click Classwork and then click the specific assignment and then click View assignment. 
  • On the Student work page, click the Settings wheel on the right and select Download these grades as CSV and save the csv file to your computer. Do Not Download all grades as CSV (we can’t import all grades in one csv file because of Google Classroom limitations). 

Step 3: Create a SchoolWise letter gradebook assignment in the course of interest and marking period for which you want to import grades.

Note: You can not overwrite existing gradebook assignment marks (you have to delete existing gradebook assignment marks if you want to import new marks).

Step 4: Import the Google Classroom class assignment grades for that specific gradebook assignment as following:

  • Click the hamburger menu at the top of the gradebook assignment column and click Import Assignment Marks
  • Click Browse to select the csv file previously saved to your computer and then click Import Marks

Note: Google Classroom class assignment grades >9999 will be imported as 9999 (the max point limit in a gradebook). 

How to Delete an Assignment 

Assignments can be deleted only if you delete all the scores entered in first.  From the gradebook, make sure there are no scores for any students in the assignment you wish to delete.  Go to your homepage.







 At the far right side of your list of classes is a little gear symbol:  


Clicking on it brings up the Assignment List. 

The only assignment that  can be deleted (because there are no student scores in it) will have a red X in the Delete column.  Click the red X to delete the assignment.








Filtering the Gradebook by Category 

It is possible to filter the gradebook to only see assignments in one category along with the category average. 

Clicking on the menu All Categories displays a list of all of your categories:  


Clicking on any one category then causes the gradebook to show only assignments in the selected category along with the category average.


Selecting All Categories turns off the category filter.


Semester Averaging of Quarters 

In high schools there generally are two semesters per year, each with two quarters and perhaps progress or deficiency notices under the quarters.  Semester grades can be either a running total of categories and assignments disregarding the two quarters or an average of the two quarters.   The running total can be deceiving because if you don’t use all of the same categories in both quarters the semester average may not be what you expect even though it is mathematically accurate.  The reason to use the running total is to monitor the progress of students towards passing a class necessary for graduation.  But in most cases teachers will want to us a simple average of the two quarters for the semester grade.  Below is what a high school gradebook looks like, set up with quarters and semesters.


Semester Averaging is set up from the Class menu, which opens up the Semester Averaging form.




Settings Menu










Show Report Card Columns 

Clicking on the Settings menu and then Show Report Card Columns opens up a new area on the left based on marking periods, which can be

quarters, trimesters, semesters, and progress report sub-periods.


By first choosing the proper marking period 

you can then push the Copy>> button to copy all the current grades into the Mark column.   Putting your mouse cursor into the Mark field and then pressing Copy>> will cause the grades to be copied into the mark field.  Be very careful that you are in the appropriate marking period (quarters, trimesters, semesters, or progress report sub-periods) before copying.


The marks can be edited after you copy them.

These marks will now be downloaded into the report card.


Adding Report Card Comments

Letter gradebook report card comments can be added for each course with a free form text field (Notes) or a comment code number (max 4 comment codes can be added).

There are 2 gradebook settings that impact letter gradebook report card comments:

1. Admin/Course Gradebook Settings/School Gradebook Settings: You can enable text comments (Notes) and/or numeric comment codes (pick list) for your school.

2. For a teacher to enter report card comments, their Letter Gradebook report card columns must be turned on (default is off) within each specific gradebook from the options link.

To see your specific list of Report Card Comment Codes, you can run the web report titled “Letter Grade Report Card Comments List” or you can run the desktop report titled "Picklist Items" with the filter set to ReportCardComment. Your report card comment code number pick list is setup/edited from the desktop district setup menu.







 Ultimately all of the marks and comments will make up the report card.


Other Settings Menu Choices


Sort Students by Last Name is the default alphabetic order.


Sort Students by First Name means just that.


Sort Students by Class Rank sorts from highest to lowest average in the class.


Sort Assignments Newest First arranges the assignments across the grid from newest to oldest and unchecking sorts form oldest to newest.


Hide Unenrolled Students does not display students who have transferred out of the class and unchecking this option displays them in grayed-out italics.

Note:  When unenrolled students are hidden and you use the Copy>> button to copy all the current grades into the Mark column (as explained above), the marks for unenrolled students will NOT be copied to the report card column.  However if the unenrolled students are NOT hidden, their marks will be copied to the report card column.

Use Narrow Mark Columns shows the assignment names vertically as opposed to horizontally.   The vertical display allows you to place twice as many assignments into the visible area of the gradebook.



Exploring the Menus and Buttons

Clicking the menu to the right of a class name opens the following menu:

Here you can send a message to all students or to all parents as well as print reports that include all the students in the class.


Send Message to all Students in class and Send Message to all Students’ Parents enables you to send a message to either of those groups.  


Class Reports

These reports will bring up records for each student in the particular class you have open in the gradebook.  Clicking on the Class printer button brings up a list of permanent reports: Student Grades Report, Missing Assignments Report, and Class Roster Report.  Clicking on the More Class Reports button brings up a list of reports, which will be growing daily.


Student Grades Report








Missing Assignments Report