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Efforts to create district-wide grading policy underway

GRANDVIEW - Efforts are currently underway in the Grandview School District to create a district-wide grading and reporting policy for grades kindergarten through 12.

That's according to Wilma Kozai, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, who's been tasked with forming a committee comprised of staff, students, parents and community members.

"I think you have to have a district-wide grading and reporting philosophy to make it equitable for all students," Kozai said. When asked if there are current issues, she responded, "I think one of many possible issues, for example, is if you have an A, B, C grading policy that's not standards-based in one classroom, it may not be the same as an A in the next. Another issue is using a numerical value of zero for failing grades; it's not equitable."

Grandview School District Superintendent Kevin Chase agrees. "Some grading practices people have used in the past are punitive, but they're commonly accepted as normal. We want to define ways that are not punitive and there are a lot of models out there."

Kozai said whether or not the grading and reporting policy is standards-based will be one of many aspects the committee will need to review, and plenty of research is in the forecast. "Should it be standards-based and if so, what does that look like? I want us to do our research. There are districts out there that have some good practices in place," she said, echoing Chase's sentiment and adding that she's particularly interested in what the experts recommend. "We need to know what research indicates so we can have intelligent conversations versus just talking from (the standpoint of) what we believe."

Kozai said the policy and philosophy won't be formed overnight. "Anything important is going to take some time and energy, and hopefully honest, but tough, conversations."

The first step, though, is the actual formation of the committee itself, a goal she plans to meet by the end of January. The committee will likely meet a minimum of twice a month, possibly more.

Kozai hopes the committee will have a recommended grading and reporting philosophy for Grandview school board officials to consider prior to the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

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