We believe that students should learn to work for the love of knowledge and the joy of using their minds effectively—not for grades.

Students and parents receive a set of detailed written reports six times a year. Students are given academic grades (A–E) at the end of each trimester and each course (for multi-trimester courses). However, they do not see these grades until the winter of their junior year when the college planning process begins.

Each student’s advisor works with the teachers and academic dean to ensure that both the student and family understand the student’s development and to identify areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. At the end of each trimester, a team of deans and advisors carefully reviews each student’s performance and determines what further support a student might need if they are not thriving academically.

Academic Grades

Academic grades are recorded as letter grades (A-F). Students do not learn their academic grades until the spring of their Junior year.

Effort Grades

In addition to letter grades, students receive effort marks for their work during each marking period. Effort marks range from 1 = excellent to 4 = unacceptable. Effort marks are important in determining the list of seniors eligible for special privileges and in identifying students about whom the deans should be concerned. Students in good standing are expected to maintain consistent effort. Students are given their effort marks at the same time they receive their reports.


Of the core values of The Putney School, participation is perhaps most essential to the success of our daily endeavors. All of our programs—from classes to assemblies, Evening Arts to Sing, and sports to work—are designed to be most enjoyable and most effective with everyone present. Students are expected to participate fully.


The Putney transcript records course grades for each trimester as well as the final grade for each course. The student’s record of participation in the nonacademic programs of the school is also recorded. During the winter trimester, juniors receive an unofficial copy of their transcript as part of the college planning course. In the fall or early winter of the senior year, students request that an official copy of the transcript be sent to colleges to which they have applied.

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