Grading Overview
We base all of our grading on a check-off system in which there are 4 check-offs each quarter totalling 16 for the year. All of our check-offs, with the exception of first quarter for 6th graders, are specific exercises found in their Essential Elements for Band Book. Check-offs are the equivalent to playing tests except that they are pass/redo only. The check-off sheet that your student received in class this week breaks down which check-offs they are supposed to play and what grade they will earn each quarter based on how many they complete. It is highly recommended that students attempt to pass each check-off in order so that they can continue to build off the skills and techniques that each check-off requires.


Grading Process

  • We will rehearse these check-offs as a class throughout the year. 
  • On block days, we will have check-off days where all students will attempt to perform the most recently learned check-off with a director where they will either be given a pass on the check-off, or they will receive a redo as well as feedback on what needs to be practiced. 
  • If a student does not pass the check-off with a director they will be able to submit an online recording from home through our Canvas class. 
  • Since check-offs are pass/redo only, students will have unlimited chances until they pass. 
  • Grades continue to build each quarter as check-offs are cumulative throughout the year. If a student does not pass all of the check-offs required in a quarter, they should pass those before moving on to the next quarter check-offs. 
  • In third quarter, students will see how many check-offs they have completed in the Previous check-offs assignment in Infinite Campus. 
  • Students can turn check-offs anytime during the quarter. There are soft deadlines for each check-off in Canvas and Infinite Campus so that students can stay on track, and so parents are kept up to date on students' progress. 
  • Due to the number of students in the middle school band program check-offs may not be graded immediately after submission. Once check-offs are graded, completed check-offs will show a “1” in Infinite Campus and incomplete check-offs will show a “0” until completed.
  • Directors will attempt to have all submissions graded within a week of the soft deadlines and will send out reminder emails so that students and parents can stay up to date and informed on grades. 
  • If at any point your child has a question regarding one of their check-offs they are always welcome to speak with any of our directors for help or clarification.

The majority of students will perform their check-offs in front of a director for a pass/redo grade. If students do not pass the check-off in class, they can submit online at home through our canvas page with unlimited attempts. All grades should be checked through Infinite Campus and if there are questions about grades please reach out to your director as soon as possible. If any student is struggling with completing a check-off, they should request help from their director and we will set up a time to work with them before or after school if necessary.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

You have often heard that anything worthwhile takes time and effort. That is especially true when it comes to mastering a musical instrument. There is no substitute for practice! We will spend a great deal of time teaching our students correct practice habits. The truth is that your support and guidance will be the key factor in establishing the practice schedule insuring the attainment of musical goals. We recommend 120 minutes a week of dedicated quality practice time. We suggest that you and your young musician agree on a practice time and a special area of your home designated for their area of musical study. A final five-minute recital is extremely effective in building performance responsibility and a great opportunity to show your support. Your positive reinforcement and encouragement is the most effective communication you can share with your child’s journey towards musical excellence. Although many new concepts are taught during band rehearsals, the limited time does not afford the personal attention that is vital to developing the technical facility required for the upcoming years of musical exploration.