Kentucky Schools Grading Policy

Overview of Kentucky Grading Policy

Kentucky’s grading policy aims to provide a clear, consistent framework for assessing student performance. The policy is designed to support students in their academic journey by ensuring fair and equitable evaluation across all schools in the state. It includes traditional letter grades, a mastery scale for specific competencies, and standards-based grading to focus on students’ understanding and skills.

Grade Scale

Kentucky schools typically use the following grading scale to evaluate student performance:

Letter GradePercentage RangeDescription
D60-69%Below Average

Mastery Scale

The mastery scale in Kentucky is used to assess students’ proficiency in specific skills and standards. This scale is often used in conjunction with or as an alternative to traditional letter grades.

Mastery LevelDescription
4Exceeds Mastery
2Approaching Mastery
0No Evidence of Mastery

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-based grading (SBG) in Kentucky focuses on assessing students’ understanding and proficiency in specific standards rather than assigning a single grade for an entire course. This approach provides a more detailed picture of students’ strengths and areas for improvement.

Standards-Based Grading Scale:

4Advanced Understanding and Application
2Basic Understanding
1Limited Understanding
0Not Yet Demonstrated


1. What is the purpose of Kentucky’s grading policy?
The policy aims to provide a fair and consistent evaluation of student performance across all schools in the state.

2. How is the letter grade ‘A’ defined in Kentucky?
An ‘A’ represents excellent performance, typically within the 90-100% range.

3. What does a ‘4’ on the mastery scale mean?
A ‘4’ indicates that a student exceeds mastery, showing advanced understanding and application of the material.

4. How does standards-based grading differ from traditional grading?
Standards-based grading focuses on specific skills and standards, providing detailed insights into a student’s understanding and abilities, rather than a single overall grade.

5. Are all schools in Kentucky required to use the same grading scale?
While most schools follow the state’s recommended grading scale, there can be some variations based on district policies.

6. What is the lowest passing grade in Kentucky?
A ‘D’, which ranges from 60-69%, is considered the lowest passing grade.

7. Can students retake assessments to improve their mastery level?
Many schools allow retakes to give students additional opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and improve their mastery levels.

8. How are grades communicated to parents?
Grades are typically communicated through report cards, parent-teacher conferences, and online portals.

9. Does Kentucky use GPA for college admissions?
Yes, Kentucky schools use GPA, calculated from the traditional letter grades, for college admissions and scholarship eligibility.

10. How does the mastery scale benefit students?
The mastery scale helps students focus on specific areas of improvement and allows for a more personalized learning experience.


Here are some valuable resources for understanding and navigating Kentucky’s grading policy:

  • Kentucky Department of Education (KDE): The official site provides detailed information on state-wide education policies and standards. Visit KDE
  • Infinite Campus: The platform used by many Kentucky schools to track and report grades. Parents and students can access real-time updates. Visit Infinite Campus
  • Kentucky Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC): Offers resources and support for parents to understand and engage with their child’s education. Visit PIRC

Grading Policy for Schools in Kentucky