June 18, 2009

Board of Education Approves Changes in Grade, Attendance Policies

Parents of Scotland County students don’t be worried if your child comes home with a 4.0 grade card. That will be worthy of praise, not condemnation, as the SCR-I district will be implementing a transition to the 4.0 grading scale from the current 11.0 structure.

The SCR-I board of education approved the policy change at the June 12th meeting.

High school principal Gene Hay stated the change is being made to accommodate college bound students. Post secondary schools do not accept 11.0 grade systems, forcing SCR-I to convert grade point averages for students going on to college. Hay said that process took several days at the end of the school year.

The grading scale will undergo some changes. In order for a student to receive an A, they will have to receive a 94% or better in the class. Previously a 90% or above had qualified for an A. That A will be worth four points in the new grade point system. An 86%-93% will be a B worth three points. A C grade (73-85%) will earn two grade points while a D (65-72%) is worth one point. A score of 64% or below will receive an F and no grade points.

The board voted 7-0 to implement a new weighted grade structure for advanced placement classes, which factor into the MSIP/Accreditation process. Students taking college prep English, speech/American literature, English comp I & II, math analysis, college algebra, US history I & II, Chemistry II and anatomy/physiology, will be eligible for the weighted grade system. An additional grade point is added for each grade in these classes. A student earning an A will receive five points on their GPA instead of the standard four. A B in the weighted class will be worth four on the student’s GPA. Students that earn 80-85% will receive a WC grade worth three GPA points. A C (73-79%) will earn two on the GPA and a D (65-72%) will be worth one grade point.

Another change in the policy states that no student shall graduate or take part in any commencement exercise at SCR-I without fulfilling all requirements and credits of the state of Missouri.

The board also implemented a significant change to the attendance policy, cutting the number of allowable absences in half.

Under the new policy, students may miss a maximum of five days of school per semester before facing grade reductions in classes utilizing participation grading systems. Previously the policy had allowed 10 excused absences per semester.

“Ten days a semester is 20 days a year, or nearly a month and that is just too much,” said Hay. “Obviously there will be some discretion utilized when enforcing this policy, particularly in cases when a student is hospitalized or facing a lengthy illness.”

Class work may not be made up for unexcused absences. In order to receive an excused absence, the office must be notified prior to 1:00 p.m. on that school day, regarding the reason for the absence, or it will automatically be considered unexcused.

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