• Alder Middle School Grading Policy 

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  • ACADEMIC HONESTY (Board Policy 5131.9, 6162.6)

    FUSD requires all students to demonstrate honesty and to abide by ethical standards in preparing and presenting materials, as well as in testing situations. Grades should reflect the student's own work in the fairest possible way. Academic dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism involves an attempt by the student to show possession of a level of knowledge or skill, which the student does not possess. It involves any attempt by a student to substitute the product of another, in whole or in part, as the student’s own work. This policy covers all school-related tests, quizzes, reports, class assignments, and projects.

    Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to the following:


    • Obtaining information from another student during an examination
    • Communicating information to another student during an examination
    • Knowingly allowing another student to copy one’s work
    • Offering another person’s work as one’s own
    • Using an unauthorized electronic device to solicit, transmit, or search for answers
    • Taking an examination for another student or having someone take an examination for oneself
    • Sharing answers for a take-home examination unless specifically authorized by the teacher
    • Using unauthorized material during an examination
    • Altering a graded examination or assignment and returning it for additional credit, under the pretense that the teacher made an error
    • Having another person or a company do the research and/or writing of an assigned paper or report
    • Misreporting or altering the data in laboratory or research projects


    • Plagiarism is to present the ideas, words, or creative product of another as one’s own. Credit must be given to the source for direct quotations, paraphrases, ideas, and facts, which are not common knowledge.

    Other Dishonest Conduct

    • Stealing or attempting to steal an examination or answer key
    • Stealing or attempting to change official academic records
    • Intentionally impairing the performance of other students and/or a teacher, for example, by adulterating laboratory samples or reagents, by altering musical or athletic equipment, or by creating a distraction meant to impair performance
    • Alteration of computer and/or grade book records or forgery of signatures for the purpose of academic advantage
    • Sabotaging or destroying the work of others


    • Collusion occurs when any student knowingly or intentionally helps another student perform an act of academic dishonesty. Collusion is an act of academic dishonesty and will be disciplined in the same manner as the act itself.


    The Role of the Teacher

    • A teacher who has evidence that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred shall, after speaking with the student and parent, take one or more of the following disciplinary actions depending on the level of the infraction as established by the Site/PLC guidelines:
    • The student will receive an oral reprimand and the student will redo the assignment as determined by the Site/PLC (for example, in cases where there is reasonable doubt that the student knew that the action violated the standards of academic honesty)
    • The student will receive an F/NC, zero points or a reduced number of points on all or part of a particular paper, project, or examination (for example, for a first-time occurrence of a relatively minor nature)
    • The student will receive and F/NC for the grading period (for example, in cases where the dishonesty is more serious, premediated, or a repeat offense)


    In each of the instances listed above, the teacher will make annotation on the Visit Maintenance screen on Q Connect, and the students Work habits and Citizenship marks may be affected.  A student found to be academically dishonest may not have made a reasonable attempt on the assignment/assessment and therefore may not be able to resubmit their work as determined by the Site/PLC. However, because it is essential that the teacher know the true level of mastery that the student has for a particular standard, the student may be required to demonstrate their knowledge on a like assignment/assessment.


    The Role of the Administrator

    Each incident of academic dishonesty, which is sufficiently serious for the teacher to take advanced disciplinary action that can lower the student’s grade, the teacher shall report the incident to the Administration for appropriate disciplinary action. The Administrator will determine the appropriate level of discipline based on the school’s discipline hierarchy. These consequences will be recorded as part of the student’s discipline record. Students found to be academically dishonest are subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension; dismissal from student offices, athletics, and extracurricular activities; involuntary transfer; or expulsion.


    Grades for Achievement (AR5121)

    • Grades will reflect student achievement toward mastery of course content standards.
    • Grades should reflect a student’s progress toward objectives and outcomes as defined by the district core curriculum and key learning for each grade level and content area
    • Grades shall be reported each marking period as described in the Secondary Grading Policy.
    • Teachers are expected to provide supporting data for grades assigned. Grade records shall reflect an adequate sampling of work in a given area to justify the assigned grade.
    • In all aspects of grading and reporting, it is critical that teachers give accurate and complete information to families. Grades should reflect levels of achievement consistently and fairly. It is not appropriate to “inflate” a student’s grade or to create artificially high standards for a particular student.
    • Students with a current Individual Education Plan (IEP) may be given differential standards in grading if written in their IEP. Appropriate resource personnel should be consulted in giving these grades.
    • Grades shall be available and kept current for parent and student monitoring through the district approved electronic grading system.


    Nonacademic Grading (AR 5121)

    • “Incomplete” is for students who have been enrolled for 10 days or less.
    • An incomplete is also given only when a student’s work is not finished because of illness or other excused absence.
    • Plus (+) and minus (-) signs may be used at the discretion of the teacher with the exception of an Incomplete or F grade.
    • No academic grade of a student participating in a physical education class may be adversely affected due to the fact that the student, because of circumstances beyond his/her control, does not wear standardized physical education apparel.


    Work Habits and Citizenship

    • Work habits and citizenship are reported separately from academic grades.
    • Work habits are based on a student’s responsibility for completing assigned work, including completing work that is missed due to absences, suspensions, or assignments to alternative learning centers including school suspension.
    • Citizenship is based on compliance with site and district expectations for student behavior.



    Students are tested several times each year. California students are required to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). FUSD also administers the MAP assessment 3 times a year. This assessment along with other factors can be used to determine student placement. It is in the students’ best interest to give their best effort on these exams. Students are expected to be on their best behavior.


    State law dictates that students not achieving the grade level standards in specific content related skills are to be retained. The grade level standards have been established by the California Department of Education and are the basis for the statewide California Standards testing program. All students in grades 1-8 will be identified according to specific curriculum components. The retention/promotion identifying areas are the state mandated standardized tests, district assessments, and grades.

    Students and parents/guardians will be notified if the student is at-risk of failing a grade. Students who are notified they may be failing have the ability to change their status by earning passing grades in their classes and earning passing marks on the district assessments. Additionally, students who are notified they may be failing a grade may be assigned to receive additional help in reading, writing, or math. This extra help may be held after school. It is important that all students take their classes seriously and work to their full potential. If you have any questions about this policy or how your child is doing, please contact the school counselors



    Homework is an integral part of the school program. Homework helps develop students’ responsibility for their own learning, is designed to reinforce classroom learning, supplement class work, and give the students opportunity to practice their skills.

    For most students in a normal school week, a minimum of four nights of homework will be assigned. Skill areas must be addressed with the assignment meeting the needs of the individual student or as a completion of the daily assignments. The assignments shall be evaluated and included in the student's grades. Students who do not complete and return their homework are not fulfilling the requirements of the course and their grades will be affected. (Board Policy 6154)

    Subjects should expect to receive homework including language arts, math, social science, and science. Many elective classes will also have homework. Teachers post their homework assignments on Q Connect. Please visit the Alder website for more information http://www.fusdweb.com/sites/middle/alder/defaul t.aspx


    The physical education program allows each student the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities at a level of skill that produces a feeling of satisfaction, achievement, and success. The standard physical education uniform includes tennis shoes, socks, black shorts and a gray t-shirt. Sweatpants and sweatshirts may be worn in cold weather only. PE clothes may be purchased through the PE department. The cost for Short/shirt set is $20.00. Shorts and shirts purchased separately are $10.00 each. Students are expected to dress out and participate in PE each day. PE clothes can only be worn during PE class.

    If a student is unable to participate in physical education because of injury, illness, or a disabling condition, parents must write a note requesting a PE exemption. Students needing to be excused more than 3 days must have a physician’s statement documenting the specific activity limitation. Students’ with asthma need to be aware of what triggers an attack, and what steps need to be taken if an attack is eminent. Students are still required to dress out even when not participating. During periods of high heat or unhealthy smog conditions, physical activity will be limited for all students.


    Alder recognizes students with good attendance and who show academic achievement and superior citizenship throughout the year. The Renaissance class will celebrate students throughout the year. An awards committee comprised of teachers plan a special awards night each semester to honor our Alder Falcons.


    The school counselors are available to help all students. The counselors offer services such as, educational, personal/social and behavioral support; educational and career advisement for students and parents; monitor student progress and implement grade checks; meeting with parents, students, and faculty to strategize academic and behavior interventions; organize reform programs, such as anti-bullying, conflict management, and anger management workshops; and, teach students the skills necessary to achieve their educational and career goals.

    Students are encouraged to talk to the counselors before and after school or during lunch. Students may fill out an “Alder Request” slip, located in the front office, to see the counselors. If there is an emergency, students are to let the teachers know about the need to seek advisement. Information regarding counseling agencies and brochures are available in the office.


    Alder offers support for students who are in need of additional time and help mastering state standards. Intervention classes are offered for Math and Language Arts in lieu of taking an elective. Read 180 and Math 180 offer more intensive support for students significantly below grade level. Centralized After school tutoring will be offered in the library.


    We miss you when you are gone! Good attendance is important. State law dictates which absences qualify as excused absences. The following reasons are considered excused absences:

    • Student illness or injury
    • Emergency medical or dental treatment
    • Death in the immediate family
    • Student court appearance


    Students are required by California law to attend school regularly and promptly. If a student is absent from school, it is the parent’s responsibility to notify the attendance clerk at 357-5330. Excuse notes are to be turned in during first period upon student’s return. Please try to schedule all medical/dental appointments after school.

    Ten (10) excused absences are considered to be excessive. Education Code Sec. 48260- Any pupil subject to full-time education or to compulsory education who is absent from school without valid excuse more than three days or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance administrator or superintendent of the school district. School starts at 7:25 a.m. and all students are to be in their seats ready to learn before the tardy bell rings at 7:25 a.m. Students who are not in their seats will be considered tardy. Frequent tardies will result in disciplinary action. Refer to Tardy Policy below. Parents/guardians can be issued a citation for truancy, requiring an appearance in court. Truants from school may be picked up and ticketed by police officers resulting in fines and possible court intervention.

    Alder is a closed campus; students may not leave the grounds at any time during the day without permission from the office. If a student is to leave during the day, a note from the parent should be brought to the attendance office before the school day begins. Only parents may sign a student out in the attendance office. Every time a child is checked out early, the adult must present their picture ID. We ask that parents do not check students out after 1:07 p.m. (20 minutes before the bell rings)

    Making Up Absences

    • Saturday School: Students also have opportunities to make up absences by attending Saturday school. Saturday school classes are offered throughout the school year. Students who are eligible to attend Saturday school will receive letters with dates and times. The letters must be signed by a parent/ guardian and returned to the attendance clerk.
    • Study Buddy: We encourage students to select a “Study Buddy” for each class and exchange phone numbers. When students are absent, it is their responsibility to contact the “Study Buddy” and get the homework for the day. Parents/Guardians may request work for their student by calling the attendance office. The teachers are entitled to one day (24 hours) to provide the requested homework. Students are responsible to ask and make arrangements with their teachers for any work missed while they were absent.
    • Independent Studies: If students will be absent more than 5 days, they should make arrangements with the Independent Study Coordinator to get work for them while they are out. The Coordinator must be notified a week prior to the first day of the absence.

    Attendance Incentives:

    • Monthly: Random classes will be visited and when 100% of students have (HATS) homework, attendance, no tardies, the entire class will be rewarded.
    • Quarterly Award: Students with perfect attendance for the quarter will be rewarded with special events such as Movie & Popcorn, Hot Chocolate and Cookie party, and Sundae Fun Day.
    • Semester Award: Students with perfect attendance and excellent attendance will participate in our awards night held each semester.



    School starts at 7:25 a.m. and all students are to be in their seats ready to learn before the tardy bell rings at 7:25 a.m. Students not in their seat ready to learn when the tardy bell rings for any period will be considered tardy. The following disciplinary action will be taken for tardies:







    7TH TARDY: Student Attendance Review Team