School officials discussed the possibility of introducing a new grading scale at the elementary school at the School Board’s meeting Tuesday.
A committee made up of teachers and parents has been exploring a 10-point scale for the elementary school starting at the third grade. The school currently uses an individualized rubric for kindergartners and an A-F grading scale for grades one to five, Elementary School Principal Kim Haskins said.
Should the 10-point scale be adopted for third through fifth graders, students in grades one and two could be graded similarly to kindergarten because it may be more appropriate for that age level. The committee intends to continue to gather information and feedback to create final recommendations for the board’s consideration in April, Haskins said.
The School Board approved a grading scale change at the middle and high schools in February to keep step with a statewide trend toward adoption of the scale. The new grading scale, a 10-point scale with a plus-minus element, was introduced in the schools in the 2017-2018 academic year.
In the current grading scale at the middle school and high school, an A starts at 90 and an F is a 59 and below. Under the previous scale, an A started at 94 and an F was 69 and below.
The new grading scale at the elementary school would be identical in terms of numerical values but whether a plus-minus element would be included hasn’t been determined, Haskins said.
In other news
School Board member Lynn Vogel formally announced her resignation, which is due to a change in residency. Her resignation is effective Dec. 28.
“It’s been an honor,” Vogel said.
Board Chairwoman Dudley Olsson thanked Vogel for her service to the board and presented her with a plaque to commemorate her time as a School Board member.
Vogel was first appointed to the board in June 2008. Her position on the board will be filled by an interim appointment. Any town resident who is a registered voter may apply for the position by Jan. 15. Applications can be found at wpschools.net.
Staff members also discussed their wish list for the 2019 fiscal year budget.
High on the list were a new guidance counselor, a 2 percent compensation increase with potentially a step increase as well as new technology like upgraded smartboards, said Gina Putney, a middle school teacher who presented the findings of the staff survey that gathered requests from employees.
The budget process doesn’t start until January. While it’s unclear what kind of funding the district can expect from Town Council and the state, a new guidance counselor is something the School Board has been considering, School Board member Paul Diggs said.
Board members also expressed internet in exploring increased compensation, saying it was one of their goals to keep West Point Public Schools competitive with other districts.
The starting salary of a teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $44,783 in the 2017-2018 academic year, according to the district’s website.
Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.