A-W changes its Grading System

Posted September 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

With the Class of 2017 having 11 valedictorians, topping the list of changes for the Akron-Westfield 2017-2018 school year is the high school grading system.

This week parents and guardians will be receiving a letter from A-W Grades 7-12 Principal Derek Briggs explaining the changes.

The main difference is that the district is going from a four-point grading system to a 12-point system.

“This change puts our grading system in line with a vast majority of school districts and also aligns us with the grading practices students will find at institutions they attend after graduating from Akron-Westfield,” said Briggs, who presented this change to the school board last spring for Student Handbook revisions.

“We believe this provides a more accurate Grade Point Average (GPA) for each student,” said Briggs, “and puts us in a position where our students’ GPAs are a better presentation of their full body of academic work.”

This new grading system affects all high school students but all grades recorded prior to the start of this school year will not be altered based on the new system.

Other changes to the Student Handbook included revising the Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Code and making a minor change to the Cell Phone Policy, said Briggs.

With Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment, state officials used to recommend students advocate for themselves and now they are not doing that, explained Briggs. “Local administration will continue to discuss a full range of options for a student to properly address these situations.”

The Cell Phone Policy now includes clarity that is aligned to the Computer Usage Policy.

New Courses

High school students will have the opportunity to take two new classes: “Food Science Principles” in Agriculture Education and “Exploring Manufacturing Occupations” in Industrial Technology.

DK-6 Changes

For Grades DK-6, there won’t be many changes this school year, according to Akron-Westfield Preschool-6 Principal Cathy Bobier.

“We’re continuing to follow the Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS),” said Bobier.

In addition, faculty is focusing on Professional Development’s visual learning — things teachers can do to maximize impact on students’ learning, she explained.

One change Bobier noted is that state officials are no longer requiring third graders to achieve their grade level or repeat third grade.

“We never started this state mandate and now it’s been repealed,” she said. “We are continuing to work with kids to make sure they succeed.”

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