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New grading system may be in works

By Candace Sipos -- csipos@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Frederick County Public Schools officials are asking for a vote from any parents who would like to participate in making a major change in the school system.

The school system has set up a committee to look into a possible grading scale change and other grading practices more than a year ago, according to spokesman Steve Edwards.

The committee, consisting of parents, teachers and administrators, has been studying whether changing to a 10-point grading scale would be beneficial.

Now the members are asking all parents related to the school system to complete a short online survey about the possible change between Monday and Jan. 18, according to a news release from Edwards.

A number of school divisions across the state have been investigating the benefits of this grading scale, and many have decided to make the change, he said.

"Some parents voiced support in the past," he said.

Under the current scale, 94-100 is an A, 87-93 is a B, 77-86 is a C, 68-76 is a D, and 67 or below is an F.

According to Superintendent for Instruction Peter Vernimb, who is quoted in the release, student grades will reflect the quality of a student's work despite the grading scale.

If the results of the survey suggest support for the grading-scale change, the school's instruction committee will consider that information as well as the results garnered from a staff survey.

If the committee decides to recommend the change, it would need to ultimately be approved by the School Board, Edwards said.

If approved, it wouldn't take effect until the 2012-13 school year, and it would only affect courses and grade levels that currently involve students receiving letter grades, the release states.

Edwards pointed out that any parent who wishes to participate in the survey but does not have Internet access may request a paper copy from his or her child's school.

The paper version needs to be returned to that school after completion.

"This is an issue that obviously is of interest to parents, and we really want to get their input," he said. Officials have asked schools to put notifications in their newsletters, the information will be on Comcast Cable channel 18, there will be a link on [the schools'] website and parents will receive emails via the AlertNow system, he added.

"We're trying to communicate to parents in a variety of ways," he said.

The school system has used this online survey, which is free or charge, before with positive results, Edwards said.

Last year, officials sent out a survey to parents regarding school communication.
"We had great participation," he said.

The survey is available at http://bit.ly/tGe8rG. A link to the survey will also be listed on the schools' website at www.frederick.k12.va.us.


What is the benefit of lowering standards?

All hail mediocrity!!

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