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Class Menu

Categories (Class Menu)

Use the Categories dialog in the Class menu to create a unique set of up to ten assignment categories in each grading period.

NOTE: Many Elementary teachers will use Grade Machine's Categories as a place to keep track of subjects.

1) When you start a new class, the Assignments window will show a single assignment category, Total Points, with a weight of 100%. 

2) Teachers who don't need multiple categories for their assignments may leave it this way, so grades will simply be based on total points achieved divided by total points possible.

3) The Categories dialog lets you enter a Description (up to 30 characters) and a Weight (0-100) for each category. 


1) If the Weight fields are grayed out, and you wish to use weights, select Use category weights in the Grading Periods dialog next to When calculating grade. 

2) The Include Grade Summary in Reports checkbox in each category section controls whether a grade summary for each category is included in reports. 

3) In addition, the checkbox next to Extra Credit in each category section controls whether extra credit for each category is included in reports.

4) By selecting the "Allow alternate grade" checkbox, you can show an alternate category grade column in the Scores window for that category. Category grades can then be entered in the Scores window which will be used in place of the calculated grades. 

5) To view or edit categories for other grading periods, select a grading period from the pop-up list at the top of the dialog. The Copy From Previous Grading Period button allows you to quickly copy the categories from the previous grading period. 

6) Here's an example of four assignment categories: 

Homework (worth 20% of the grade), 

Tests (20% of the grade), 

Presentations (20% of the grade), and 

Final Exam (40% of the grade).


(1) categories are weighted equally, you could enter the weights as 50 and 50. However, it is the relative sizes of the weights that are significant to Grade Machine, not the actual numbers. You could also use 100 and 100, or 1 and 1 to achieve the same result. 

(2) If you would like one of the categories for a grading period to be extra credit, make sure that the box is checked next to Extra Credit . Doing this means that the entire category will be used as extra credit. If you want extra credit within a given category, do not check this box. Instead, make an extra credit assignment in the category.
7) After you use the Categories dialog to enter your category information and click the OK button, select the Assignments window. 

8) By default, Grade Machine initially assigns all new assignments to the first category.
9) Place the appropriate category number (1, 2, etc.) into the Category column for each assignment. 
10) You can also use the Category pop-up list to assign the category. To accomplish this click your right mouse button in the Category field, or highlight the Category field and press [F8]. 
11) When grades are computed for reports, the scores for assignments in each category hve their points added together, then divided by the number of points possible for a particular student, to obtain a Tests percentage. 

12) The procedure is repeated for each category that you have defined. 

13) These percentages are multiplied by the category weights, then added together, to produce the student's percentage for the entire grading period, e.g., the percentage grade for Quarter 1).


(1) If you use weighted assignment categories, be sure to select the Grades command from the Style menu, so you can omit the Grading Period Summaries Points and Overall Summaries Points from reports. 

(2) This is because weighted assignments will produce an overall grade that usually will be different than the total points achieved divided by the total points possible. 

(3) For example, suppose a student scored the following:

150 out of 200 points on Homework (20% of grade), 

40 out of 50 points on Tests (20% of grade), 

60 out of 80 points on Presentations (20% of grade), 

90 out of 100 points on Final Exam (40% of grade). 

(4) The grading period percentage would be:

(150/200) x 20%
(40/50) x 20%
(60/80) x 20%
(90/100) x 40%

which works out to 82.0% for the grading period.

(5) If you just added up total points achieved, and divided by total points possible, ignoring categories, you would get (150 + 40 + 60 + 90) / (200 + 50 + 80 + 100) = 340 / 430 , which works out to 79.1%. 

(6) If this is really how you want the grading period grade to be calculated, then select the Ignore Category Weights option in the Categories dialog. 

(7) Otherwise, select Use Category Weights. If you select Use Category Weights, Grade Machine will print the grades as either a point value or a percentage, but not as both. This is to prevent reports from showing: 340 / 430 = 82.0% , which certainly looks wrong, since 340/430 = 79.1%. That is because the 82.0% is obtained by weighted categories rather than simple division.

14) If you have not entered any assignments in a particular category, or if a student received all "excused" grades in that category, then that category is ignored when the grade is calculated. 

15) In the example shown above: 

a) suppose a student was excused on every assignment in the Final Exam category

b) Then that student's grade would be (150/200) x 20% + (40/50) x 20% + (60/80) x 20% = 46% . 

c) But since the student is only being graded in categories totaling 60%, then the grade would be calculated as 46% / 60% = 76.7%.

Grading Periods

1) Use the Grading Periods dialog in the Class menu to create a unique set of up to twenty grading periods, i.e., for quarters, six-week grading periods, etc. 
2) This dialog only shows two at a time, with a scroll bar on the right side of the dialog for moving up and down the list of grading periods.

The parts of the Class/Grading Periods dialog are briefly described below:


Enter the name of the grading period here, e.g., Fall Quarter, Spring Trimester, Quarter 3, etc.


Assign a Weight to each grading period to determine how the overall, i.e., year-long, grade is calculated in a manner similar to that shown in the Categories section. 


(1) If the Weight fields are grayed out, you need to select use grading period weights in the Overall Summaries dialog next to When calculating grade. 

(2) If the weights total up to an amount less than 100%, the overall percentages will be divided by that percentage to compensate. 

(3) If the weights add up to more than 100%, and if use grading period weights is selected in the Overall Summaries dialog, then the program will make the combined weights equal to a 100% scale. 

(4) If you want to make a grading period of Extra Credit, make sure that you have checked the box next to Extra Credit. 

(5) For more information, please refer to the Extra Credit Grading Periods topic. 

(6) By selecting the Allow alternate grade checkbox, you can show an alternate grading period grade column in the Scores window for that grading period. 

(7) Grading period grades can then be entered in the Scores window which will be used in place of the calculated grades.


(1) At the beginning of the year you may want to start with a single grading period, e.g., a Description of Quarter 1, a Weight of 100, and a Starting Assignment of 1. 

(2) If you prefer to enter the descriptions and weights for future grading periods in advance, you may do so, but be sure to leave the Starting Assignment for future grading periods blank.

Starting Assignment:

1) For Grade Machine to know where in your assignment list each grading period starts, enter a Starting Assignment number for each grading period. For example, if Quarter 2 begins with your fifth assignment, enter 5 for Quarter 2's starting assignment. 
2) The first grading period must start with assignment number 1.

Include In Reports:

Grade Summary
The checkbox next to Grade Summary allows you to include or exclude the grading period's summary in reports. 
The checkbox next to Attendance allows you to include or exclude the grading period's attendance totals in reports. 

Start Date:

1) You can include attendance totals and dates on individual student progress reports, but first you must specify the Start Date for each grading period. 
2) As an alternative way to enter a date, you can click your right mouse button on any month, day, or year input field. A pop up calendar will appear from which you can select a date.

When Calculating Grade:

There are three options for calculating the grade: 

1) Use category weights; 
2) Weigh categories equally; and 
3) Ignore category weights. 
The following explanations describe the function of each option:

Use Category Weights
This option will use the weights set in the Class/Categories dialog.
Weigh Categories Equally

1) This option will override the individual weights of the categories and make all the category weights equal. 

2) For example, if your category weights were 40%, 20%, 20% and 20%, they will now be calculated as if they each have weights of 25%.

Ignore Category Weights
This option directs the program to ignore any weights you have set up for categories and uses the points in all categories to compute the Grading Period grade.

Overall Summaries (Class Menu)

The Overall Summaries grade is a grade that Grade Machine computes based on one or more Grading Period grades.

1) The Overall Summaries dialog allows the user to define up to 10 different overall grades. 
2) For example, you may have a Semester 1 Overall Summary which includes grading periods Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, a Semester 2 Overall Summary which includes Quarter 3 and Quarter 4, and a Final Overall Summary which encompasses all grading periods.

NOTE: The grading period range of an Overall Summary must be in a continuous order. For example you can include Grading Periods 1, 2, and 3, but not Grading Periods 1 and 3 without Grading Period 2.

The following are the different parts of the Overall Summaries dialog and a brief explanation of each:

Type in a name for the Overall Summary.
Select the first Grading Period the Overall Summary will encompass.
Select the last Grading Period the Overall Summary will encompass.
When calculating grade:
There are three options for calculating the grade: Use grading period weights, Weigh grading periods equally
, and Ignore grading period weights.

1) If you select Use grading period weights, Grade Machine will calculate the Overall Summary grade using the weights you have assigned in the Grading Periods dialog under the Class menu.
2) If you select Weigh grading periods equally, all grading periods will have the same weight, with the exception of Extra Credit Grading Periods. 

NOTE: No weights will appear in the Class/Grading Periods dialog. 

3) If you select Ignore grading period weights Grade Machine will not use any of the grading period weights, but will obtain an overall summary grade either by summing the total points of all included assignments or by using weighted categories. 
4) It is recommended that you check the calculating method you have chosen for your grading period grades. By entering some test students and test scores, and checking the grades that you against the grade Grade Machine actually computes, you can discover at the outset if your setup need adjusting at the start of a grading period rather than at the end.

5) The following are two possible methods of calculation Grade Machine uses when ignoring grading period weights: 

a) If you choose Ignore category weights in the Grading Periods dialog, Grade Machine will sum the total points achieved by the total points possible for all assignments encompassed by the Overall Summary. 

b) If you choose Use category weights in the Grading Periods dialog, Grade Machine will indirectly include those weights in the Overall Summary grade, while still ignoring grading period weights. 

c) Each grading period grade percentage will be multiplied by the total points possible for that grading period, and all of these factors will be summed into a single value that will be divided by the total number of points possible across all of the Grading Periods selected in the Overall Summary dialog.

Allow Alternate Grade Checkbox

1) By selecting this checkbox, you can show an alternate grade column in the Scores Window for that overall summary. 
2) Overall summary grades can then be entered in the Scores Window which will be used in place of the calculated grades.

Include in Reports

1) The checkboxes in the Include in Reports area of the Overall Summaries dialog control the way the Overall Summary is displayed in reports. 
2) The Overall Category Grades option works in conjunction with the Use Tables for Summaries checkbox in the Style/Individual Report Prefs dialog. 
3) Once both boxes are checked, reports will show the Overall grade for each category. 
4) The Grade Summary will show the Overall Summary of the combined grade for all the grading periods you have selected. 

5) Attendance will show totals for each selected Attendance Code, and a Daily summary for the date range of the Overall Summary as defined by the Grading Periods listed in the Include: and Through: fields.

Grading Scales (Class Menu)

Use the Grading Scales dialog in the Class menu to define up to 30 different grading scales for each Class file. 

1) To view or edit different grading scales, select a grading scale number from the pop-up menu as shown above. By default, all new students are assigned to Grading Scale #1. Or, you can use the pop-up menu, again as shown above, i.e., following the words Grading Scale #, to finalize the changes and begin editing a different grading scale.
2) You can assign students to different grading scales by changing their Scale numbers in the Students Window. 

3) After you finish editing one grading scale, you can click OK to finalize the changes, or click Cancel to close the dialog and ignore any changes. 

The parts of the Class/Grading Scales dialog are briefly described below:

Grade Description

This is the way a grade is specified or described. The most common grade descriptions are letter, i.e., A through F; rubric, for example, Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, Poor, Unacceptable, or Pass or Fail, or 0 4, or 1 4; percentages, i.e., 0% through 100%. 

Lower Cutoff

This is the lowest percentage in your grading scale that you allow for a given grade description. For example, the lower cutoff for A might be 90.

1) Each lower cutoff value should be the lowest percentage you wish to allow for a particular grade description. The lower cutoff must be entered in descending order. For example, a lower cutoff of 90.0 for A- means all students with 90.0% and higher, up to the next lower cutoff, will receive A-. 
2) Always be sure that the lower cutoff field for the lowest grade description is blank, i.e., a blank here counts as 0%, and all fields after that field also be blank. 

3) The up and down buttons next to each lower cutoff let you quickly adjust the lower cutoffs upward or downward in increments of 0.1. As you click on these buttons with the mouse, the lower cutoffs will be raised or lowered, and the tallies shown in the Students with This Grade columns will adjust accordingly. This is a very useful way to manipulate your grading scale so that an appropriate percentage of your class will receive A, B, etc.


1) To assign a color to a particular level, e.g., A+, F, etc., of a grading scale, click this box. 
2) A spectrum from which you can choose a color will appear. 
3) The grade description will appear in the color you select. 

Students with This Grade

1) Shows the number of students in the current class who have the grade shown for each level of the grading scale, and also shows what percentage of the class this number represents. 
2) These numbers ares limited to those students who have the grading scale shown in the Grading Scale # field and will reflect any alternate grade that have been assigned. 
3) Students whose alternate percentages don't translate into a valid grade will be excluded.If an alternate grade percentage does not evaluate to a valid number, then that student will be excluded. Alternate grade descriptions have no effect on the numbers shown.

Interpret Grade Descriptions As Text

Select this option button if your grading scale has Grade Descriptions such as A, A-, B, etc.; Satisfactory, Good, Excellent, etc. 

Interpret Grade Descriptions As Numbers , e.g., 4.0, Decimalized and Interpolated to Nearest Tenth

1) Select this option button if your grading scale has grade descriptions such as 4.0, 3.5, etc. 

2) Many colleges, as well as some secondary schools, use a decimalized grading scale, where students receive decimal grades, e.g., 4.0, 3.8, 2.5, etc. 
3) When Grade Machine calculates grades with this Grading Scale, it will interpolate between levels, to the nearest tenth. For example, if your lower limit for a 4.0 is 90% and your lower limit for a 3.5 is 80%, and a student's percentage is 88%. Because 88% is 8/10 of the distance from 80% to 90%, a grade of 3.9 is given, since 3.9 is 8/10 of the distance from 3.5 to 4.0. 

Set Up a 4.0 Grading Scale

An example of how you might set up your grading scale if your highest grade is 4.0 follows. For a more in-depth discussion of this process, see our rubric grading topic.

1) Enter 4.0 in the first Grade Description field, and 3.5 for the next Grade Description. 
2) Continue in this manner by 0.5 increments, with the eighth cutoff equal to 0. For the first cutoff, enter the lowest percentage that qualifies for 4.0. 
3) For the second cutoff, enter the lowest percentage that qualifies for 3.5, and continue until all descriptions have a percentage equivalent. 

Special Scores (Class Menu)

Use the Special Scores dialog in the Class Menu to design your own list of unique scores to fit your grading style. 

1) For example, you can design a score called Outstanding, abbreviated +, which Grade Machine will interpret as 100% of the points possible on any assignment. 
2) Or, you can use an Excused score, abbreviated ex, to tell Grade Machine to ignore a particular assignment when calculating grades for a particular student. Excused scores are very handy when a student turns in late work due to illness, or if a student enters your class several weeks after the beginning of a school year.

3) Special Scores open up a wealth of possibilities for unique and individual grading systems. For example, if your school uses an outcome-based or portfolio grading system, you might prefer to track all scores as symbols, +, OK, or -, instead of numbers.
4) To design your own special scores, choose Special Scores from the Class menu. 
5) The dialog allows you to edit, add a new score, or remove existing special scores. 

6) There are three pre-defined Special Scores with certain fields that cannot be edited. For more information on those scores, see the Non-Removable Special Scores topic. 
7) You can also copy Special Scores from another Class file using the Copy From command.

The parts of the Class/Special Scores dialog are briefly described below:
Edit Button

Allows you to modify the selected or highlighted Special Score by opening the Edit a Special Score dialog.

New Score Button

Allows you to create a new Special Score by opening the Edit a Special Score dialog.

Remove Button

Deletes the selected or highlighted Special Score.


You can copy Special Scores from another Class file using the Copy From command.
If you open a Macintosh or DOS Class file, the Special Scores hotkeys may work differently.

Comments (Class Menu)

1) Use the Comments dialog in the Class menu to create an unlimited number of comments, each up to 250 characters long, giving you the ability to tailor your Individual Reports to a very fine level. 
2) Each comment can be just plain text, or it can contain comment variables that will print individualized student data directly from the student's record. 
3) You can build narrative, letter-style reports by giving students a series of comments that can be put together to make paragraphs.

4) You can export an email letter using Grade Machine's Smart Data Exchange and Smart Comments.

NOTE: The contents of your Edit Comments dialog will vary, depending on which Class file you have open. Also, the symbol indicates that there is a carriage return in the comment, so that the next comment will begin on the following line. 

The parts of the Class/Comments dialog are briefly described below:
Edit Button

Pressing this button allows you to edit the selected comment.

NOTE: If the Edit button is not accessible, it is because the selected comment was imported from a school administration software package that does not allow comments to be changed by the teacher. Comments that are not editable will appear in italics in this window.

Append Button

1) Adds a new comment to the end of the comments list and 
2) allows you to enter your new comment's text.

Insert Button

1) Adds a new comment before the comment you currently have selected and

2) it allows you to enter your new comment's text.

Delete Button

Removes the selected comment from the list. 

Done Button

Exits the Edit Comments dialog.


(1) Each comment is assigned a number based on its position in the list. 

(2) To assign a particular comment to a student, select the Students window from the View menu. 

(3) Type the number of the appropriate comment in the student's Comments field. 

(4) You can also use the Comments list box to assign a comment code number.


(1) After you've designed your comments and assigned comment numbers to students, it is important to avoid drastic changes from being made to the existing comment list. 

(2) For example, if you delete comment #5, then comment #6 will take the position of comment #5. This means that if you gave comment #5 to a student earlier, that student's reports will now contain the text that was formerly called comment #6! Likewise, comment #7 replaces comment #6, and so on.

Report Headings (Class Menu)
The parts of the Class/Report Headings dialog are briefly described below:

Class Name

1) In this field, you can enter the class name as you would like it to appear on reports. 
2) You can enter a name up to 40 characters.

Teacher Name
This feature appears only on School or Department site license versions of Grade Machine. 

1) It allows each authorized teacher to enter his/her own name to appear on reports along with the department or school name. Teacher names are limited to 40 characters. 

2) In this field, you can enter one or more names as you would like them to appear in the Prepared by section on reports. 

3) The department or school name is encoded into the program. 

4) Information entered in this dialog box is stored in the Class file, so you will need to enter the teacher and class name for each class. 

5) In earlier versions of Grade Machine, this field appeared in the General Report Prefs dialog.

Class Information (Class Menu)

The Class Information dialog in the Class menu allows you to enter additional information about the currently open Class file, for importing and exporting purposes. The information entered here may be:

1) imported into Grade Machine from text files coming from school administration packages, 
2) and it may also be exported from Grade Machine. 

NOTE: The information contained in the Class Information dialog is used only for importing or exporting. This information, except for the Teacher Name, is not printed on any reports.

The parts of the Class/Class Information dialog are briefly described below:

Course Code:

Enter the course code number for the current Class file, e.g., ENG100.

Course Name:

Enter the course name of the current Class file, e.g., ENG100.
Grade Level:
A place to enter the course's grade level, i.e., 10, 11, 12, Freshman, Senior, etc.


A place to enter the period of this Class file, i.e., 1, 2, 6.

Section Number:

Enter the Section Number for this Class file, i.e., Section 02 of English 100.

Teacher ID:

Enter the Teacher ID here.

Teacher Name:

Enter the Teacher's name here. Teacher Name can also be entered in the Report Headings (Class Menu) dialog and if so such an entry will be reflected here as well.


Terms can be quarters, trimesters, semesters, etc. This may vary from school to school.

Misc 1:, Misc 2:, and Misc 3:

These three fields can be filled with miscellaneous class information that needs to be exported with Grade Machine.

Set Password (Class Menu)

1) Use the Set Password dialog in the Class menu to set or change a password. You may assign a separate password to each Class file. 
2) As you type the password into the password dialog, asterisks will appear on the screen in place of the text for security. 
3) Type the password a second time in the Verify New Password field to confirm the accuracy of your password. 
4) When you save the class, the password will be saved with it. 
5) When you try to re-open the class later, you will need to enter the password before the class will open. 

6) Be sure to write down your passwords in a secure place in case you forget them later!

Student Email Addresses (Class Menu)

Grade Machine stores student email addresses and enables you to email text versions of Individual and Multi-Class reports. 

1) To send a report to an email address, you must enter at least one address for the student and 
2) Your email program must be MAPI compliant.

Here's more information on each choice available in the Class/Student Email Addresses dialog:

Enter Student Email Addresses

1) To enter student addresses, choose Student Email Addresses from the Class menu. 
2) In the Student Email Addresses dialog box, select the appropriate student from the Student drop-down list. 

Address Field

1) In the address field, you can enter several addresses for each student up to 255 characters total. 
2) Each address should be separated by a comma only. 
3) Each of the recipients in the address field will receive a copy of the email report. 
4) To enter addresses for other students, select their names from the drop-down list and enter addresses for them in the address field. 
5) When you have finished entering addresses, click OK to save the changes and close the dialog box.

This button will save the changes and close the dialog box.
Import Student Email Addresses Data Using Smart Data Exchange
If your school has provided you with a text file containing student email addresses, you can design or modify a Smart Data Exchange filter to import all the addresses automatically rather than type them. 
Sending an Email Report
You can send an Individual or Multi-Class report via email. Click the Email button in the Individual report or Multi-Class report dialog box.

Student Notes (Class Menu)

Use the Student Notes dialog in the Class menu to enter up to two separate notes for each student. Each note may be up to 32,000 characters in length. Use Student Notes for individualized notes or commentary. If a note may apply to many of your students, you may want to make it a Comment.

1) Choose a name from the list box next to Student. 
2) Enter the note in the text field below. 
3) To enter another note for the same student, click the Note list box and choose 2. 
4) To enter a note for another student, choose the appropriate name from the Student list box.
5) Above each text field is an Include in Reports checkbox that controls whether that note will be included in reports. 
6) Clicking Clear Notes For All Students will delete all the Student Notes for the Class file.

Student Pictures (Class Menu)

1) The Student Pictures dialog stores links between students and their corresponding picture files. 
2) Using this dialog, you can add or remove the association between a student and a picture. 
3) This dialog also displays a preview of the picture so you can verify it is the correct photo for a student.

The parts of the Class/Student Pictures dialog are briefly described below:

This drop-down list enables you to select a student to whom you would like to assign a picture.
Click this button to associate the picture with the student. 
Click the button to disassociate the picture with the student. If you disassociate the picture and do not add another, no picture will appear for that student in the Seating Chart. 
This button will save the changes and close the dialog box.
This button lets you back out gracefully without saving any changes.

School Week (Class Menu)

1) Choose School Week from the Class menu to open the School Week dialog.
2) This dialog controls which days of the week are shown on the Attendance Window. 
3) By default, the days in the school week are set to Monday through Friday, but you can adjust the checkboxes as needed if your class meets on unusual days of the week. 
4) For example, if your class doesn't meet on Wednesday, uncheck the checkbox next to Wednesday. 
5) You can use the holidays feature if, for example, your class meets MWF once week and TuTh the next. In the MWF week you would make TuTh holidays and in the TuTh week you would make MWF holidays.

Copy From (Class Menu)

The Copy From dialog in the Class menu allows you to transfer data from another Class file to the class you are presently working with. 

1) In the left hand column, check the boxes for the data you want to copy into the current Class file. 
2) In the right hand column, check the appropriate Append Instead of Replace boxes so that the selected items will add to, not replace, these items in your currently open Class file. 
3) Then choose Select File to use the Open dialog to select from a list of Class files in a particular folder. 

4) Select the file from which you want to copy the data, then click OK.

NOTE: The Calendar checkbox copies both the School Week
and the Holidays from the selected Class file into the current Class file.

5) If you are a Secondary teacher who teaches two or more sections of the same course, begin by setting up your classes from a template class. 
6) Then, each time you add new assignments to the first class, follow these steps to ensure that the second class' assignment list is always synchronized with that of the first:

a) Update the assignment list from the first class, then save the class.

b) Open the second class and choose Copy From from the Class menu.

c) Check the Assignment List box only, NOT the corresponding Append Instead of Replace box.

d) Click the Select File button and 

e) Choose your first or original class using the Open dialog.

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