Course & Grading Policies

Letter Grades
CRLS issues letter grades based on the following scale:

A+ 97-100 D+ 67-69
A 93-96 D 63-66
A- 90-92 D- 60-62
B+ 87-89 F Failing (50)
B 83-86 P
B- 80-82 I Incomplete
C+ 77-79 NR Never Reported
C 73-76 WP Withdrawn Passing
C- 70-72 WF Withdrawn Failing

Course Requirements


  • Teachers are expected to provide all their classes with an explanation of their grading policy and their expectations for students. Course contracts for each teacher are posted 
on the CRLS web site.
  • Explanations and expectations are given out in writing during the first few weeks of each course. Students should make sure that they obtain their copy and keep it in their
notebook. Students should also be sure they understand what is expected of them in each of their classes.
  • Parents will receive copies of class grading policies at the first Parent-Teacher Night.

Early Examinations: Students are discouraged from asking to take midterm and final exams early. All requests for such early testing must be made to the Dean of Curriculum.

Report Cards/Interim Reports
Report cards/Interim Reports are issued to students and parents four times each year.

  • Report cards are usually distributed 10 days after the close of grades.
  • Interim Reports are usually distributed midway through each term
  • Report cards/Interim Reports are very important and should be reviewed carefully. Parents and students may schedule an appointment with any teacher to discuss class performance and progress.
  • Report cards are used to determine athletic eligibility.

School Grading Procedures
Grade Corrections: Once a teacher has issued a grade, it becomes an official part of the school record. If a teacher has made an error in calculating a grade (i.e. added wrong, forgot to include a project or grade, etc.) then the following procedure is to be followed:

1) The student or parent/guardian of said student must make all grade-correction requests to the teacher within three weeks from the date report cards are issued. Grade correction requests submitted after this date will be reviewed.

2) If the teacher determines that an error was made in calculating the grade, he/she will complete a CRLS Grade Correction form indicating the correction and reason(s) for the change. All Grade Correction forms must be submitted to his/her Dean of Curriculum for review and approval. Under no conditions can a teacher change a grade because the student made up work after the marking period closed.

Incomplete Grade: If a student has missed extensive work due to absenteeism resulting from a family emergency or prolonged illness, the teacher may allow the student to make up missed work and/or tests after the marking period has closed by giving the student an Incomplete (“I”) and by filling out an Incomplete Grade Contract form which is submitted with the teacher’s grade list to the Dean of Curriculum. A copy of the Incomplete Contract is to be given to the student by the teacher. All Incomplete Grades (“I”) must be changed to a grade the following marking period.

Honor Roll

  • First Honors: No grade below an A- (all grades are A or better with no grade below an A-)
  • Second Honors: No grade below a B- (all grades are B or better with no grade below a B-)

National Honor Society Membership
Juniors with a cumulative GPA of 87 or higher will automatically receive an application after the second marking period. Learn more >>

Course Requests
CRLS would like to offer every course listed in the catalog. However, courses may be cancelled due to low enrollment or staffing constraints.

Course Change Procedure

Add/Drop week is an opportunity for students to meet and discuss their schedule with their counselors. Add/Drop occurs during the first five to 10 days of school each semester. Students may withdraw from courses during this week without penalty. Once Add/Drop week has passed, only changes to a more appropriate level in a course will be approved. At the close of the marking period, students who require a course change that is within the same discipline (Honors Math to College Preparatory Math for example) will carry their marking period grade to the new course and the grade will be averaged with the marking period grade earned in the new course to produce a final grade. For semester long courses, credit will be awarded for the new course. When a student changes to a semester-long course that is not within the same discipline, (Spanish to Art for example) the student will keep the marking period grade earned in the first class and be issued a final grade of WP-Withdrawn Passing or WF-Withdrawn Failing. Credit will be issued for the new course and will be pro-rated based on placement time. Once the Add/Drop week has passed, only those requests for course changes that satisfy the guidelines listed below will be approved:

  • To change to a more appropriate level in a course
  • To correct an error
  • To balance a students academic courses over 2 semesters
  • Medical necessity
  • To drop or add a course as a result of summer school or a scheduling gap
  • To add a required course
  • As a result of a Special Education or English Language Learner Team decision

Course Withdrawals

  • Students who withdraw from a class within two weeks prior to the close of grades will receive a grade for that course.
  • Students who withdraw prior to the two weeks of closing of grades will receive WP or WF as a grade for that marking period.

The Cambridge Public Schools is committed to having students complete their elementary and secondary education. In the event that a student who is sixteen years of age or older seeks to leave school without a high school diploma, certificate of attainment or certificate of completion, the Cambridge Public Schools adheres to the requirements of M.G.L.c. 76, §18 and follows the procedures set forth below:

1. The principal or designee issues a letter to the parent/guardian of the student notifying the parent/guardian that the student either (a) has expressed an intention of withdrawing from school without an intention of returning, or (b) has had fifteen (15) consecutive absences from school and indicating the student’s last date of attendance at school.

In order for the school to determine whether the student is withdrawing from school without intending to return, the school schedules a meeting with the student and his/her parent/guardian for the purpose of discussing the reasons why the student wants to leave school and to explore alternative educational and other placements for the student prior to him/her formally withdrawing from school. The parent/guardian may request that the date and time of this meeting be changed provided that the extension of time shall be no longer than fourteen (14) days from the date of issuance of the letter by the principal or designee.

2. After the meeting has been held with the parent/guardian and the student, the principal or designee issues a letter to the parent/guardian of the student summarizing what was discussed and any decision that was reached at the meeting, including but not limited to, whether the student is returning to school, pursuing an alternative educational placement, pursuing other support services or permanently leaving school.

3. In accordance with the provisions of M.G.L.c. 76, §18, any determination that that a student would be permanently leaving school shall not be construed as a permanent exclusion of the student if he/she wishes to resume his/her education.

Core Classes
CORE academic classes include English, History, Mathematics, Science, and World Language. Students may choose to take Honors level classes in each of these subject areas.

Dual Enrollment Courses
The Commonwealth Dual Enrollment Partnership (CDEP) provides opportunities for Massachusetts high school students to take college-level courses at a discounted price* and earn credit toward high school completion and their future college degrees. CDEP eases the transition from high school to college, allows students to get a head start on their college careers, and provides meaningful and challenging academic experiences to qualified students who otherwise may not have access to an early college experience. The ultimate goal of CDEP is to increase the population of high school graduates who are college ready. Credits for the college courses can apply to both the high school and college transcript. CRLS currently offers Bunker Hill Community College dual enrollment courses in English Language Arts. CRLS currently offers one University of Massachusetts Boston dual enrollment course in History.

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