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Culpeper County Public Schools

Culpeper County Public Schools

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Culpeper County Public Schools

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  1. Culpeper County Public Schools 10 Point Grading Scale Task Force March 29, 2010

  2. Background for the Task Force • Over the past several years, inquiries have been made as to why we have our current grading scale which is a 7 point scale. • Legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly for a uniform grading scale. • Two years ago Fairfax launched a study which has been duplicated throughout the state • This year Madison, Orange, and Spotsylvania Counties have opted to go to a 10 point scale. • Steering Committee was formed in December.

  3. Tasks for the Steering Committee • Examined our current policies and regulations • Researched what other school divisions had done. • Surveyed teaching staff through My Learning Plan in January 2010 • Results of the survey were that 66% of respondents were in favor of a change to 10 points; 21%, no; and 12% undecided. 610 surveys were sent out with a return of 25%. • Adapted most of the work that Spotsylvania and Fairfax had done because it is more current. • Decided to form a task force which represents a cross section of the school community.

  4. Make-up of the Task Force • Steering Committee: Jim Allen, Ladona Gorham, Andrea Kilby, and Jack Glick • 1Central Office representative • 1 School Board representative • 8 teachers • 2 students • 2 parents • 2 guidance representatives • 4 building level administrators

  5. Charge to the Task Force • Thank you for your willingness to serve. • Listen today and keep an open mind • Let your thinking be guided by what is best for all kids, at all grade levels. • After today’s meeting, go back and meet with the people that you represent and solicit feedback. • Be prepared to come back next month, discuss and make a recommendation to the School Board

  6. Charge to the Task Force • Research the data that is available and determine what is best for our students. • Will the 10 point grading scale help our students or is this only a perception? • What is the impact to teachers, students, and parents? • How would we implement this in our schools? • Today’s Meeting: Background, Research questions, Implementation, Review our task

  7. Research Questions • Question Number 1: • How many Virginia school divisions are currently using a 10 point grading scale? No state database exists but the following divisions responded to a survey indicating they have a 10 point scale: Albemarle, Alexandria, Falls Church, Loudoun, Manassas, Manassas Park, Matthews, Montgomery, Prince William, Orange, Madison, Spotsylvania, Williamsburg/James City, Warren, Pulaski, Fauquier, Frederick, Buena Vista, Lee, Charlottesville, Fairfax, Poquoson, Virginia Beach, Stafford

  8. Research Questions Notes from the data: • There is no standard grading scale/GPA calculation in Virginia school divisions. • Even within similar grading scales, there are varied definitions of excellence, above average, average, below average, and failing • Most of the divisions that have moved to a 10 point scale have 5.0 as their highest weighted GPA, with the exception of Stafford and Spotsylvania, which is 5.5. Loudoun is 5.3

  9. Research Questions • Question Number 2 • What is the impact of different grading policies on college admissions and scholarships? In-state colleges and universities were contacted. Thirteen admission offices responded.

  10. Research Questions • Notes from the data • Do not recalculate GPA’s • Take what is presented • Look at individual students • Look at class rank • Compare applicant with other students in the same school • Rely on a wide range of factors • Well versed on dealing with a wide array of numerical grading policies

  11. Research Questions Question Number 3: Do grade distributions change substantially for high schools that change to a 10-point grading scale? School were surveyed to try to determine if those schools were finding: Increase in college acceptance Decrease in failure rates Increase in number of graduates Increase in SOL pass rates Increase in SOL pass rates Increase in AP/DE sign-ups Decrease in academic rigor, students effort, and/or expectations

  12. Research Questions • Notes from the data: • Not enough time for empirical data collection • Most responses were anecdotal and opinion based. • While strong data to support a change was not available…………………there was nothing to show that a change was detrimental to students

  13. Research Questions • Question # 4: • What are the operational issues associated with changing to a 10-point scale? Spotsylvania County came up with following implementation protocol which the steering committee likes: 1. The new grading scale would be implemented starting the first day of a new school year (not during summer school).

  14. Implementation 2. GPAs would include cumulative grades from both the present scale and the new 10 point scale for the next 4 years approximately. 3. For example, students in the first graduating class would have 75% of their GPA calculated using the previous scale Each succeeding class would be decreased by 25%. 4. The school profile attached to each college application would include an explanation of these changes.

  15. Other implementation issues… If a new grading scale is implemented in Culpeper, a decision will need to be made on whether or not to use “plus” or “minus” designations. After looking at many surrounding school systems, it seems that all use a “plus” designation and all but one also use a “minus” designation. (Prince William only uses the +)

  16. Other implementation issues… • It was brought to the steering committee’s attention that under the current CCPS grading scale and GPA calculation quality points, it is possible for a student to have straight “A” s and only have a 3.9 GPA. Culpeper County is the only district that uses the following quality points: • A+ 4.0 B + 3.3 C+ 2.3 D+ 1.3 • A 3.9 B 3.0 C 2.0 D 1.0 • A- 3.7 B- 2.7 C- 1.7 D- .7 • This committee will need to make a recommendation to the board regarding quality points to go along with a new grading scale.

  17. What Do Other Districts do? • How do other school districts with 10 pt. scales, address the plus and minus designations and GPA calculations? • The following examples show un-weighted GPA quality points only. Advanced classes, such as AP are usually weighted one full point higher.

  18. Spotsylvania County • A+ 98-100 4.5 • A 95-97 4.25 • A- 90-94 4.0 • B+ 88-89 3.75 • B 86-87 3.5 • B 84-85 3.25 • B- 80-83 3.0 • C+ 78-79 2.75 • C 76-77 2.5 • C 74-75 2.25 • C- 70-73 2 • D+ 68- 69 1.75 • D 66-67 1.5 • D 64-65 1.25 • D- 60-63 1 • F 59 and below 0

  19. What Prince William County does….

  20. Fairfax County • A (93-100) = 4.0A- (90-92) = 3.7 • B+ (87-89) = 3.3B (83-86) = 3.0B- (80-82) = 2.7 • C+ (77-79) = 2.3C (73-76) = 2.0C- (70-72) = 1.7 • D+ (67-69) = 1.3D (64-66) = 1.0F (below 64) = 0.0 • Notice that Fairfax uses a modified 10 point scale because their failing grade is 63 and below…not 60 and below as most traditional 10 point scales.

  21. Stafford County • A+ 98-100 4.5 • A 93-97 4.25 • A-   90-92 4.0 • B+ 87-89 3.5 • B 83-86 3.25 • B-   80-82 3.0 • C+ 77-79 2.5 • C 73-76 2.25 • C-   70-72 2.0 • D+ 67-69 1.5 • D 63-66 1.25 • D-   60-62 1.0 • F 0-59 0

  22. Loudoun County • 98-100 A+ 4.3 • 93-97 A 4.0 • 90-92 A- 3.7 • 87-89 B+ 3.3 • 83-86 B 3.0 • 80-82 B- 2.7 • 77-79 C+ 2.3 • 73-76 C 2.0 • 70-72 C- 1.7 • 67-69 D+ 1.3 • 63-66 D 1.0 • 60-62 D- 0.7 • 0-59 F 0

  23. Our Task This task force is charged with the decision of whether or not to make the recommendation of moving to a 10 point grading scale. If the task force decides to make that recommendation, recommendations will also need to be made regarding “plus” and “minus” designations and GPA quality points.

  24. Now what? • Go back to your school/workplace/community and gather some input from your colleagues regarding the 10 point grading scale and the implementation issues. • Feel free to use this Power Point and the examples it provides. Is there a 10 point grading scale that another district uses that you believe CCPS should adopt? • Bring feedback to our next meeting, on April 26th.

  25. TIMELINE • Monday, March 26th—today’s meeting • During the month of April go back to your schools, locations and solicit informal feedback • Contacting the press • CCPS Website • Another survey of teachers with only one question? • Meet back on Monday, April 26 and come away with a decision on way or the other—Do we recommend to the School Board for its May meeting?

  26. The Future…. • There is a possibility that this task force may evolve into a standing committee that examines other issues regarding grading in CCPS in the future. • Some items that may discussed in the future could include: • Homework policies • Grading procedures