Checking Student Grades

Click here to access the Canvas Parent app.Canvas
This is the current grade book and location for specific assignment information. Canvas will allow you to view course events, upcoming assignments and graded assignments. These are the most current grades.

The Canvas Parent app's functionality was recently changed that will require all app users to update their Canvas Parent App. This change will cause all app versions prior to 2.0 to stop functioning. The update uses a new system (paring codes) to connect parents/guardians to their children's Canvas accounts. The good news is that the Black River School District has created your parent account and connected you with your children (no paring accounts are needed). You simply have to log in to your new account.

If you have worked with our staff to set up your new account since the beginning of the school year and everything is working, then you don't have to do anything further. If you haven't set up your new account and your app has stopped working, please use the Google Form that is linked below and you will be emailed information to help you set up your new account.

Why should I get a Canvas Parent Account?

Canvas brings your children's classes to you at home where you can actively support their learning and monitor their grades. We ask that you sign up for Canvas and take an active role in your children's education. Parental involvement is known to be linked to improved student behavior, attendance, attitude, and academic success.

Having problems or need an account? Fill out the Google Canvas Parent Form.

Why Do I Have to Use Both Skyward and Canvas?

This is a great question that is asked quite often, and we understand why this might be confusing.  

Skyward is a student information system (SIS) used to track a variety of school-related data to keep things running smoothly. Skyward manages data related to students, parents, faculty, scheduling, attendance, fees, state reporting, and more. Skyward does display grades; however, it doesn't deliver or display course content that is directly related to your children's grades.

Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content to students.  Canvas allows teachers to create, track, manage and distribute learning materials to their students.   As parents, Canvas allows you to become observers in your children’s classes.  You have the ability to see grades, assignments, dues dates, announcements, and other course content.  

LMS technology brings your children’s classes to you at home where you can actively support their learning. Canvas provides you with much more than just grades. We ask that you sign up for Canvas and take an active role in your children’s education.   

Skyward LogoSkyward
Grades are not updated until the end of the semester on Skyward.
This is  the location for lunch balance, schedule, attendance, etc. This is the grade as of the Monday of grade postings in Skyward. We recognize some parents appreciate viewing grades through Skyward and wanted to provide clarity as to when Skyward reflects accurate grades. Students are continually learning and teachers are updating grades so the most accurate reflection of grades and related details is in Canvas. Thank you!

Grading Guidelines

In 2015-16 the Black River Falls Middle School and High School implemented a new grading and assessment (testing) policy. This is based on best practices in assessment and grading. It was developed over the course of the prior year through a collaborative process by teachers and administrators from both schools as well as the district office. Here are a few highlights. Click here for the full policy.


 1. Grades should convey how well students have achieved the course curriculum and standards.

2. Families are a critical piece. We need to communicate grades so that families understand them.

3. We believe that soft skills or future work habits are also important for our students to demonstrate and learn.

What makes up a student’s grade?

A student’s grade is made up of both Formative and Summative assessments.

What are formative and summative assessments?

Formative refers to assessments FOR learning. Formative approaches are the practice attempts that are closely monitored by the teacher to determine if the student is “getting it”. A formative assessment is like a dress rehearsal for a play or a scrimmage for an athletic event. Summative refers to assessment OF learning. Summative activities occur when the teacher believes the student is ready to demonstrate or perform the learning that has taken place. A summative assessment is like “show time.” As a general rule, formative happens throughout a unit of study, whereas, summative opportunities tend to take place towards the end.

Calculating a student’s grade.

Grades will reflect both formative and summative assessments. Because formative assessments serve as practice , these scores will comprise a smaller portion of the grade. Summative assessment or the student’s demonstration of knowledge will be weighted heavier, but not to exceed a range of 50-80%, (including the final exam at the High School).

Corrective Assessment (Test retakes)

All students, regardless of the grade earned on the initial assessment, will have the opportunity to retake summative assessments – tests.

See the guidelines for retakes.

  1. Students will be given the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of that content within 5 school days from the time a student receives the corrected summative assessment back from their teacher. The more time that lapses, the greater likelihood that the learner will get further behind and not benefit from a re-take.
  2. A student is required to complete all undone homework and any formative assessments and benchmark assessments that led up to the original summative assessment.
  3. Multiple retakes are not permitted. One re-take after appropriate remediation relative to specific learning targets is expected.
  4. The corrective assessment opportunity would not apply to things such as long-term projects or research papers/essays that had embedded formative assessments as part of the process. (Examples of these formatives could be: opportunities for feedback and corrections, submission of rough drafts, rewrites, check-ins, etc.) If a project is summative in nature, and students have completed it independently without ongoing feedback, then it would be open for corrective assessment. The process by which the teacher creates and implements the assessment for the student to demonstrate mastery determines whether it is summative or formative and therefore eligible for corrective assessment.
  5. The grade on a corrective assessment would be the higher of the two grades earned. Exception: If outside resources are used within the corrective assessment opportunity, partial credit will be awarded.
  6. The opportunity to take a corrective assessment is not automatic. If a pattern seems to emerge where it is suspected a student is consistently unprepared for the initial summative assessment, the opportunity for corrective assessment could be denied. In this instance, the student’s parents would be contacted to share the teacher’s concern.
  7. Teachers reserve the right to give alternative versions and ask follow up questions to see if the student really mastered the material.


Research provides strong evidence that, when used appropriately, homework benefits student achievement. To make sure that homework is appropriate, teachers should follow these guidelines:

Homework Guidelines

Late work/Missing Assignments/Make-Up Work

Our goal is to assess how much students have learned. We do feel for this learning to be effective that it should take place within the same unit. The connection between teaching and learning are essential. We want to set students up for success by ensuring there is not too much time that passes between these two occurrences.

The following guidelines are in place.

  1. Late work will be accepted until the end of the unit.
  2. When late work is turned in, a teacher may deduct the total points earned by up to 50%.
  3. Teachers must be very clear regarding when each assignment is due.
  4. Per Board Policy, if a student is absent from class and the absence is excused, a student is given two days for each excused absence to make up the work before it is counted as late.

Parent Communication

We need to communicate grades so that the students and their families understand their grades. At the high school, we will do the following:

Parent Communication Promises:

  • Print and mail report cards to all students after each semester
  • A cover letter with ideas and options on how to improve will be included with all students who earn an F in any class.
  • Every 4 ½ weeks – progress reports will be emailed home.
  • When a student is failing multiple classes their advisor will make contact via phone and/or email with the parents.


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