2012-11-17 / News

New grading system considered for elementary students

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE – Letter grades for Grades 2 through 4 may be replaced by standards-based reporting, elementary school principal Linda Rainey told Liberty Union- Thurston School Board members Monday night.

“We want grades to reflect what students know,” she explained. Moving to standards-based reporting – rating students on a scale from ‘not progressing to exceeding’ – “allows teachers the flexibility to allow students to practice without the need to always be grading students every time they attempt a concept,” Rainey wrote.

“Our goal is to always having students learning,’ she added. She acknowledged that the change will be most challenging for parents who are very familiar with letter grades.

Board members had questions particularly about possible policy changes addressing unexcused absences. Rainey said zeros would no longer be issued for unexcused absences since the new grades are to reflect students’ ‘current level of knowledge.’ In most cases, homework would no longer be graded since teachers don’t know whether it was done with help or not.

Liberty Union currently doesn’t use letter grades in Kindergarten or first grade. Some districts in Fairfield and Franklin counties have already adopted standards-based reporting for at least some elementary grades. The plan, if adopted, would to expand the new grading system one grade a year, starting with the second grade.

In other business, board members welcomed Treasurer David Butler back after a serious illness. He was thanked for continuing to do district work while he was recuperating in a rehabilitation center. He reported that income tax revenue for the quarter ending in October was slightly above last year. Revenue for the quarter ending in July was higher than October’s.

Seniors Emily Burns and Aaron Goodman were honored as October’s Students-of-the-Month. Burns is the daughter of Sheila and Don Burns. She is vice president of the Liberty Union FFA, a fouryear varsity swim team member, National Honor Society member and active in 4-H. Goodman is the son of Norm and Tina Goodman. He is a captain on both the football and wrestling teams, and active in 4-H.

Senior Matt Maldovan was honored as the November Studentof the-Month. He is the son of Dan and Jill Maldovan. He has a 4.0 GPA, is Student Council President and vice president of the National Honor Society. He is a four-year member of the marching, concert and jazz bands and a four-year letterman in cross country and track.

The seventh grade volleyball team was honored as Mid-State League champions. The junior high girls’ cross country team was honored as MSL champions. Their talent coaxed Coach Scott Williamson out of his retirement from coaching, Superintendent Paul Mathews said.

The high school boys’ cross country team was honored as MSL Champions and for qualifying as a team for the state tournament. Mathews lauded the team for their teamwork and determination after a team member was seriously injured in an accident just before the regional meet.

Band director Ben Factor and marching band members were honored for their fifth straight “Superior” rating at the state band competition. “This is one of the finest band programs in the State of Ohio,” Mathews said.

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