Director of Public Information and Community Involvement
In The News
Notice of hearing on proposed policies
(May 21, 2012) - The Policy Committee of Newport News Public Schools is considering changes to the two policies below.
IKA/IKA-P, Evaluation of Students (Divisionwide 10-point Grading Scale)
In recent years, concerns about the effects of course grades on college admissions, receipt of merit-based scholarships, and placement into college honors programs have prompted school divisions to examine their grading policies. These grading policies vary considerably among school divisions statewide. Currently, Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) has a divisionwide grading scale with an eight-point spread between letter grades.
Several school divisions in the state and in Hampton Roads have moved to a 10-point scale after they conducted research on how their grading policies compared to other school divisions and the effect that grading policies had on college admissions, honor programs, scholarship opportunities and other awards for their students. One of the primary reasons given in support of the grading scale change was that the current NNPS grading scales puts students at a disadvantage in terms of grade point average (GPA) as compared to students from school divisions with a 10-point scale while both groups of students are competing for admission to the same colleges and universities.
Given the increasing debate over grading scales across the state and nation, the School Board asked the Superintendent to research the grading scale issue, particularly in terms of any impact on NNPS students' post-secondary opportunities, and to make a recommendation regarding the NNPS grading policy and procedures. A Grading Scale Review Committee was formed in October 2011 that included parents, teachers, students, and administrators to research the issue and make a recommendation. The Grading Scale Review Committee worked to ensure that its recommendations were research-based and reflected stakeholder input. Committee members regularly reviewed the research, met with college officials, and held focus groups with students, teachers, and parents, and administrators.
At the conclusion of a process that spanned seven months, the Grading Scale Review Committee reached consensus in submitting the following recommendations for the Superintendent's consideration:
Revise the current NNPS grading scale policy and procedures to reflect the Committee's proposed 10-point grading scale (provided below) for grades 3-12;
Letter Grade Numerical Range Quality Points A 90-100 4.0 B 80-89 3.0 C 70-79 2.0 D 60-69 1.0 F Below 60 0.0
- Retain the current NNPS system of weighted quality points for Honors (.5) and Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate courses (1.0) for semester grades; and
- Implement the proposed scale at the start of the 2013-2014 school year; the new scale would not be retroactive for past report card grades or recalculation of GPAs.
Home Schooling (IHGB-P)
New procedures are being proposed for the current NNPS policy on home schooling. The procedures reflect the school division's current practices regarding the process that parents must follow to home school their children and the evidence of their student's academic progress that they must provide annually. The new procedures also address the admission and appropriate placement of home-schooled students entering NNPS, particularly at the high school level.
To enroll students in NNPS at the elementary and middle school levels, the home-schooled students' academic records and placement tests are reviewed by school division staff to determine the most appropriate grade. Over the past few years, home-schooled students also have entered NNPS at the high school level. These students had earned credits through various programs which often had very different curricular content and rigor. As a result, the new procedures include specific guidelines to address the credits that this school division will accept from home-schooled students who seek high school admission to ensure that all students who receive an NNPS diploma have met all of the state's requirements for graduation.
Highlights from the Home Schooling procedures are as follows:
- A student can enter high school with no more than six (6.0) credits from home instruction courses to obtain a Newport News Public Schools diploma.
- Home instruction courses that are considered for credit will receive a Pass (P) or Fail (F) grade.
- Graduation requirements for students who have been home instructed are the same as those for all Newport News
- Public Schools students - course credit requirements and state testing requirements must be met.
- Home-schooled students may not enroll in NNPS on a part-time or single course basis or be allowed to participate in NNPS curricular or extracurricular activities.
The committee welcomes suggestions or comments from employees, parents, and other members of the community and has scheduled a hearing in order to gather responses.
You may download copies of the policies and procedures for your review. You may also view them on our Policies & Procedures website by clicking this link. Select the Policies tab —then select Policies Under Consideration.
Principals and building administrators should post the attached files and review them with employees. If you are receiving this notice because you are affiliated with another organization, we encourage you to review the proposals with your members.
The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 5, at 4:00 p.m., in the Warwick Conference Room, 12465 Warwick Boulevard. If you are not able to attend the hearing, you may submit written comments to the Superintendent's Office which will be shared with School Board members.
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