Marching Band Grading Policy
In order to provide a clear, fair, and precise assessment of each student’s progress as a member of the Rancho Mirage High School Bands, the following grading guidelines are in effect. The overall purpose of this grading policy is to ensure the highest standard of musicianship, instrumental progress, theoretical study and application are understood and attained by every student. Every effort will be made to ensure each band student has the opportunity to receive the highest grade possible while a member of the RMHS Bands. The required work for this course will consist of a variety of assignments, activities, and events both during and outside of the school day. All students will be evaluated and graded on the basis of work completed both in and out of school.
All students begin their participation in band with an “A”. To maintain an “A” in band or colorguard, each member must successfully complete the following:
1. Rehearsals and Sectionals: Attend ALL rehearsals, clinics, and scheduled sectionals occurring both during and outside the school day, or as calendared for the student’s ensemble. Five absences will result in an overall deduction of one letter grade. Students must be in the proper dress every day to receive daily credit for class participation. Proper dress is understood to be athletic clothing (Shorts, Tshirts/track pants, etc.) and a student’s marching shoes. All other clothing is considered unacceptable. Students out of dress will find their grades lowered per day out of dress, whether it be rehearsal, or a performance day.
NOTE: THERE ARE NO EXCUSED ABSENCES!!! Student’s receive a commitment calendar for the year in June/September. It is recommended that you provide a copy of this schedule to your employer/parents with your commitments highlighted so you are taken off of a potential conflicting work/home schedule. Absences for religious, doctor, orthodontic, family vacation, or ANY other reason will be an unexcused absence regardless of RMHS Attendance office designation.
2. Performances: Performances are the culmination of our hard work in preparing a field show for presentation to an audience. Performances are the equivalent of exams. Missing a performance is unacceptable, and will account for a two-letter grade deduction from a student’s performance grade. If a student is late to a performance call time or event, the student’s grade will drop by one-third letter, and the student may be dropped from that particular performance. If a student has two or more absences the week of any ensemble performance, they will not be allowed to perform in that particular performance, and their grade will drop according to the grading policy. If a student’s performance preparation is found to be unacceptable, then that student will not be allowed to perform in the forthcoming performance. Please note that grades from performances missed cannot be made up as performances are “one time” event.
3. Class Preparedness and Participation: To receive credit for class attendance, students must come to class on time, have all parts of their instruments, all parts of THEIR music (not using someone else’s), and fully and POSITIVELY participate in all class activities. If an instrument is forgotten, a student’s grade will drop by a third letter grade. Grading for participation in class will be done on a daily basis. Note: playing exams for all marching band will occur on a daily and weekly basis. Please note, marching band rehearsal begins at 3:15 pm, and students must be on the field, or in their seat to be counted as “on time”. Students are allowed THREE tardies for academic reasons for the season (tutoring, make-up sessions, etc). After the third tardy, a student will find their grade dropped on quarter-letter per offense, and students may be barred from performance.
4. Marching Band Challenges: Marching Band challenges are the testing apparatus used to assess a students overall preparedness prior to EVERY performance during the fall. Students will be individually and collectively assessed to demonstrate performance readiness and evidence of home practice on a portion of marching band performance material. If after the initial challenge a student appears on the “challenge list”, they will have a period of time to work and get assistance to improve their performance prior to the final challenge. Any student who does not satisfactorily pass a final weekly challenge will not perform for that given performance. Non-performing students are still expected to travel and dress for the given performance. Non-performance due to a poor challenge assessment will result in the effected student’s grade being lowered one-quarter letter.
5. Behavior: Students in the Bands of Rancho Mirage High School will be professional, mature, classy individuals. This includes not using profanity, slander, or disrupting rehearsals. If a student’s behavior is found to be in question when in uniform, at away concerts and events, or they are found not to be in keeping with our belief in “Excellence, Service, Family, and Legacy,” a student can expect a SIGNIFICANT deduction from the overall grade. Deductions from a student’s grade for disruptive or inappropriate behavior in rehearsal, in a rehearsal or performance clinic, on tour/day trip, or during performance rehearsal will occur immediately and will negatively impact a students grade.
6. Timeliness: The understanding of the RMHS Bands is, “To be EARLY is to be ON TIME.” Being on time to rehearsals, sectionals, and events means being in your chair, on the field, or in parade block BEFORE the rehearsal start time. Plan on arriving 15 minutes prior to any band event to get your materials, warm-up, and check for new information. Please note: “I could not get a ride,” or, “My parent was late,” are never acceptable as excuses for a tardy.
7. Music: Students are to be totally responsible for their music. If you do not receive a copy of a piece, please see Mr. Gaylord or your section leader immediately. Students MUST arrive at rehearsal using THEIR music in order to receive proper credit in band. Lost music is not acceptable; any music found on the floor – or anywhere outside of a student’s locker will result in a significant point deduction from a student’s grade.
8. Musicianship Assessments: Musicianship assessments will occur weekly throughout the school year. The exams will involve scales, technique, rhythm, literature tests, written work, music theory and music history. Note: these exams are posted on the yearly calendar located on the RMHS Website. Note: Music Tests May be set as “pop quizzes”, and can occur at any point in time at the discretion of the RMHS Director Of Bands or Band Staff.
9. Home Practice: Practicing at home DAILY for a minimum of 45 minutes is required for all band classes. Have all music prepared and memorized when required by the Director of Bands or Section Leaders.
10. Due Dates: As monies, forms, contracts, and other non-musical items come due these dates will be counted as graded assignments.