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MCPS Assessment Strategy

High School Final Exams, Grading and Reporting

Last fall, the Board of Education eliminated two-hour semester final exams and replaced them with quarterly marking period assessments in certain high school courses, beginning next school year. The change to Board of Education Policy IKA, Grading and Reporting, came in response to strong interest from parents, students, and educators about reducing the testing burden on our students and increasing valuable instructional time in the classroom. As we transition from semester exams to quarterly marking period assessments, we will ensure that the assessments are rigorous, aligned to new standards, and provide meaningful feedback to students to improve their learning.

As a result of the changes to semester exams and implementation of new quarterly assessments, there also will be changes to the way a semester grade is calculated in high school courses. MCPS staff gathered extensive feedback from school and community stakeholders, including colleges and universities, and examined the grading practices of various school districts in deciding how grades will be calculated beginning in the 2016–2017 school year. The resources listed below provide information about the assessment strategy, new marking period assessments, and semester grade calculation, effective next school year.

Read the May 10, 2016, message to parents from Interim Superintendent Larry Bowers about final exams and semester grade calculation
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Frequently Asked Questions about MCPS Assessment Strategy and Final Exams 

Read the November 10, 2015, memorandum from Interim Superintendent Bowers about Replacement of Two Hour Semester Exams

Final Exam phase-out timeline

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