New Franklin grading system topic of Monday meeting

Published 10:51 am Friday, September 30, 2011


FRANKLIN—The city school board at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, will discuss a new grading scale that sets 60 as the lowest grade a student can earn.

The change was made to ensure students aren’t as heavily impacted by one low grade within a single grading cycle.

City school board members complained during their Sept.15 meeting that the new grading scale was implemented without their consent. The practice was implemented during a retreat for administrators in August.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle told the board that the grading practice was to be discussed and was on the agenda for a board member retreat last month, but the board didn’t get through the agenda and had not scheduled another retreat.

The Tidewater News asked for a copy of the agenda, but was told to file a Freedom of Information Act request. When the agenda was obtained, there was nothing listed about the new grading policy.

“(It) may not have been listed per se (on the retreat agenda), but it was included in instructional updates,” said Gail Wade, director of human resources and administrative services. “The board sets grading policy, but it’s really a practice created by the administrators. The purpose of meeting Monday is so that the board understands the rationale.”

Belle told the board during its Sept. 15 meeting the new grading scale should help reduce the dropout rate. The school’s grading scale was 100-93 for an “A,” 92-85 “B,” 84-77 “C,” 76-70 “D” and below, “F.”

Board member Edna King said she’s received several calls on the new grading scale, but would not characterize them. She stressed that the public should attend the meeting to give input.

Board member Glenn Hopkins said the discussion came up with a teacher.

“Somebody asked me if I was on the board, I said ‘yes,’ and the person presented their case,” he said. “I said we’d look into it and that’s what we’re doing. We’ll look into the merits of the practice.”