ABI Gradebook - A Mandate for January??????

posted Jan 5, 2012, 10:30 AM by Yuba City Teachers Association   [ updated Apr 22, 2013, 6:06 PM ]

Hello and Happy Holidays,

This is our first day of vacation.  I do hope that you are enjoying your respite and perhaps are not even reading this until next year - 2012. 

ABI Gradebook for Grades 6-12.  What is the message for January from Board President Scriven?  Can you mandated to use ABI Gradebook?  YCTA continues to agree with the Board that communication with parents and others about the progress of students towards educational goals is a high priority as is the delivery of the overall quality of the educational program for all students.  However we disagree whenever there is a unilateral imposition upon our members.  Instead we do and shall strive for a mutual resolution of interests and concerns to find collaborative solutions.

YCTA has placed a demand to bargain.  A decision cannot be implemented until the impacts and effects have been bargained.  We need to ascertain the impacts and effects of the decision. 

As we move forward, I would like to encourage you to try ABI gradebook beginning second semester.  I suggest that you might try using the gradebook already opened for you and update the grades as often as you choose.  You may still maintain your full gradebook in the program you are already comfortably and effectively using to monitor student progress, but update the ABI gradebook at some regular interval.  Your currently selected gradebook program may currently better serve your needs and style of grading as you make professional decisions regarding your students and their progress.  We have some people, who maintain their grades in their current program and then update ABI gradebook every three weeks.  If nothing else you could use the gradebook at the end of the first six weeks and then submit those entered grades to complete the task for six week progress reports with ease. 

There are some features you may find very helpful, in the ABI Gradebook such as the email function.  This allows you to easily email parents regarding student progress.  You could select to email all students and parents or filter to send emails to only students with low scores or missing assignments.  In addition, you can set up assignments in advance so that parents and students can be aware of due dates and expectations.   You can upload the assignments directly within abi so that the student and parent can view the original assignment.  You can make notations for each student on each assignment such as "Assignment copied from another student" or you can enter notes about the assignment as it appears for the entire class, such as “completed in class”.  These little notations will allow you to communicate with a parent both positives as well as concerns.  Parents appreciate the communication and ease of obtaining information from one site about their children.

There are other features that may frustrate
you such as the seating chart function or the extra time required to enter assignments due the absence of some default features.  You can only access and update grades while on-line.  You have no control of your electronic back-up of grades.   You may find that the system encourages unreasonable expectations such as a student or parent who checks hourly to see if you have graded that test that was just completed.  Or the parent who wants to know why Jimmy only got a 6 out of 10 on this assignment and 8/10 on that one.   Your gradebook will be accessible to any school personnel with ABI access for your students: administrators, counselors, special education teachers. 

We need to work to address the second set of issues that may lead to increases in your work time or diminish your flexibility in setting your grading policies.  But we need to hear from you as to those impacts.  Your use of ABI gradebook and feedback will allow us to work with the District to address the issues and find solutions.  

We anticipate working on a
common set of expectations for parents such the one attached that may be found on the Vacaville Unified website for parents using the electronic grade reporting system.

We also anticipate sending forth the attached
ABI survey in January to gather additional input regarding the impacts and effects of any mandated use of ABI gradebook.  We ask that you try ABI gradebook in January so that you can respond to the survey and we can bargain the impacts and effects of any mandate to use ABI gradebook.

You may remember receiving the letter from Board President Scriven regarding a Board priority to increase the usage of ABI gradebook.  It is YCTA's position that you cannot be mandated to use ABI gradebook until we have bargained the impacts and effects of that decision.  We also maintain that your gradebook is within the purview of your professional decisions . You may be directed as to how you determine grades (see Ed Code 49066 below)

49066.  (a) When grades are given for any course of instruction

taught in a school district, the grade given to each pupil shall be

the grade determined by the teacher of the course and the

determination of the pupil's grade by the teacher, in the absence of

clerical or mechanical mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetency,

shall be final.

   (b) The governing board of the school district and the

superintendent of such district shall not order a pupil's grade to be

changed unless the teacher who determined such grade is, to the

extent practicable, given an opportunity to state orally, in writing,

or both, the reasons for which such grade was given and is, to the

extent practicable, included in all discussions relating to the

changing of such grade.

   (c) No grade of a pupil participating in a physical education

class, however, may be adversely affected due to the fact that the

pupil does not wear standardized physical education apparel where the

failure to wear such apparel arises from circumstances beyond the

control of the pupil.


Please don not hesitate to contact with your concerns, questions or comments.  


If you have read this far and it is still 2011, I hope that you have enjoy the holidays with family and friends.  And that your new year will be filled with all the promise and joy of yet another new beginning.


Thank you for choosing to make a difference by educating young people in these demanding times.  You are everyday heroes and deserve a wonderful break.  


Best Wishes for the new year,


Yuba City Teachers Association,
Jan 5, 2012, 10:30 AM
Yuba City Teachers Association,
Jan 5, 2012, 10:30 AM
Yuba City Teachers Association,
Jan 5, 2012, 10:30 AM