Grading System Changes to Help Students

Daniel Alston, News Editor

This year’s grading system experienced county-wide change once again as the numerical “weights” of each semester have been merged.

To elaborate, the previous plan for this year described the first semester comprising 40 percent of a student’s grade and the second semester comprising another 40 percent. The final exam at the end of the year would be worth 20 percent of the final grade.

While this may seem a bit daunting, the revision to grading policy was made in hopes of giving students additional opportunities to raise their averages. Dr. Tylisa Hill, assistant principal, stated, “It’s going to give students a longer time to raise their averages.”

Some students see value in the adjustments and hope to have a better shot at passing. Maya Langdon, senior, stated, “It allows students who generally don’t have great grades to have a better opportunity to pass.”

Other students are willing to work hard to take advantage of the combined averages. Langdon said, “It [the change] encourages me to stay on top of my grades so that… I can still have a good average even if I didn’t start off the year well.” This is due to new grades as late as May being able to alter mistakes made from the beginning of the year.

Though optimistic for struggling students, the 80/20 split raises many questions. Darlene Sabine, chemistry teacher, stated, “From a student perspective, it’s not entirely beneficial…they [students] don’t have a chance at a fresh start in January.”

Aside from normal assignments, the change creates a sense of ambiguity in regards to the December finals. The 80/20 specifies no space for the first finals of the school year. Sabine said, “From the teacher’s point of view, it creates mixed feelings as to what the winter final is worth.”

The county’s high school principals have found this to be an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of subjects. The plan will permit a longer amount of time for hard workers to prove themselves. Dr. Hall stated, “As long as they take head to it [the new plan], students will have ample opportunity to bring that 85 to a 95.”