Halifax County Public Schools will now use a 10-point grading scale.
Information on this decision to become more aligned with other Virginia high schools and college and universities was brought to Halifax County School Board Monday evening.
An A will be any grade 90 to 100 with lower grades following in 10-point increments.
Director of secondary education Lisa Long provided the packet of information on the new grading scale to school board members that says it was enacted to have more emphasis on “mastering skills than on passing tests” during the 2020-2021 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg said Tuesday this change in the grading scale is a regulation that does not require school board approval.
“I think it’s a good move forward,” he added.
As explained in the information provided on the new grading scale, with distance learning, teachers will only see students in person 18 times each nine weeks. With these changes, county teachers want to encourage and reward growth, which is “better measured by formative assessments.”
A survey completed by middle and high school teachers indicated they prefer a “two-category option,” with 40% of assessments including items such as tests, projects and papers. The remaining 60% will include quizzes and daily work.
Homework was eliminated as a separate category since students will be completing a larger percentage of schoolwork at home this year.
Unless in a dual enrollment course, exams will not be required and are no longer part of a student’s final grade in an attempt to simplify averages and reflects the fact that students may not take standard of learning tests this year.
As far as Infinite Campus guidelines, with the exception of major projects and papers, teachers will provide feedback on all assignments within seven school days of receiving them and will update the online grade book weekly.
As far as grading procedures, teachers are required to grade a minimum of nine assignments, but are encouraged to give more per grading period.
Grades should be recorded in each category, and at least two grades should be from summative assignments, which are tests, projects and papers.
A parent or guardian’s signature on an assignment cannot be counted as a grade, as stated in the updated guidelines.
A “standardized late work policy” says teachers will provide students with at least three days’ advance written notice of major assignment due dates. Major assignments include work such as quizzes, tests and papers.
Per the late work policy, students will be expected to turn assignments in on time, whether they are in-person or online.
Late work will be accepted, according to the policy, but five points will be deducted each day. After two weeks, the maximum grade a student can achieve on any assignment is a 50.
The policy on cheating and/or plagiarism says any student found guilty of cheating on an assignment will receive a grade of zero on the assignment and may not be able to make it up.
A student will be issued an academic referral, if it was found they cheated, and those who receive a referral for academic dishonesty are not eligible for inclusion on the middle school honor roll or induction into the National Honor Society.
Guidelines on the promotion or retention for grades kindergarten – fifth grade state students in kindergarten must pass all reading/writing skills listed on the report card, but a student may receive up to three “needs improvement” on the reading/writing section and still be promoted.
Students in first grade through fifth grade must pass reading/language arts and math with a grade of successful.
The classroom teacher or principal may recommend remediation based on assessments and classroom performance, per the guidelines.
All teachers must use Infinite Campus for calculation of grades, and parents have constant access to student’s grades and assignments through Campus Portal.
An S will be issued for successful in mastering objectives for students in grade K-5, and an N will indicate the student needs improvement. A U will be distributed if a student is unsuccessful in mastering objectives.
Science and social studies will be integrated into reading and math instruction, according to the grading guidelines, and homework will not be graded.