New York Schools Grading Policy

Overview of Grading Policy

The New York State grading policy is designed to provide a fair and consistent assessment of student performance across all school districts. It ensures that students receive grades that accurately reflect their understanding and mastery of the curriculum. The policy includes traditional letter grades, a mastery scale, and standards-based grading to accommodate diverse learning needs and instructional approaches.

Grade Scale

New York schools typically use a standard letter grade scale to assess student performance. Here’s a breakdown of the grading chart:

Percentage RangeLetter GradeDescription
Below 65FFailing

Mastery Scale

The mastery scale is another method used in New York schools to evaluate students’ proficiency in specific skills or subjects. This scale focuses on students’ mastery of learning standards rather than traditional letter grades.

Mastery LevelDescription
4Exceeds Standards
3Meets Standards
2Approaching Standards
1Below Standards

Standards-Based Grading

Standards-based grading (SBG) in New York focuses on students’ proficiency in meeting state-defined standards. Here’s how the SBG scale typically looks:

SBG LevelDescription
4Advanced Understanding and Application of Skills
3Proficient Understanding and Application
2Basic Understanding and Application
1Below Basic Understanding


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about New York’s grading policy:

  1. What is the minimum passing grade in New York schools?
    • The minimum passing grade is usually 65%, corresponding to a letter grade of D.
  2. How often are report cards issued?
    • Most schools issue report cards quarterly, but this can vary by district.
  3. What is the difference between letter grades and the mastery scale?
    • Letter grades are traditional grades based on overall performance, while the mastery scale assesses specific skill mastery.
  4. Can students appeal their grades?
    • Yes, students and parents can request a grade review or appeal based on the district’s policies.
  5. What is standards-based grading?
    • SBG assesses students based on their proficiency in meeting specific learning standards rather than overall performance.
  6. How are grades calculated in high school?
    • Grades are typically calculated based on a combination of tests, quizzes, homework, class participation, and projects.
  7. Are there any accommodations for students with special needs?
    • Yes, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) provide accommodations for students with special needs.
  8. How does grading affect college admissions?
    • Colleges look at GPA, class rank, and rigor of coursework, so grades play a crucial role in admissions decisions.
  9. What is the role of standardized tests in grading?
    • Standardized tests can impact final grades, particularly in high school, and are used for assessment and placement purposes.
  10. How do schools handle incomplete or late assignments?
    • Policies vary, but many schools offer opportunities to make up or submit late work, sometimes with penalties.


Here are some useful resources related to New York’s grading policy:

  1. New York State Education Department (NYSED): provides comprehensive information on state education policies, including grading guidelines and standards.
  2. New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE): offers specific information for New York City public schools, including grading policies and updates.
  3. Parent Portal: allows parents to track their child’s academic progress and grades.
  4. Standards-Based Grading Guide: explains the principles and practices of standards-based grading in New York.
  5. Individualized Education Program (IEP): provides resources and guidelines for accommodating students with special needs.

Grading Policy for Schools in New York