Parents Invited to Meeting on Grading Practices - April 10, 2012

Record Number: 8666
Displayed from: Apr 10, 2012 , until: Apr 30, 2012

After a year of study by Fort Wayne Community Schools staff, including input from parents and students, FWCS has established new grading philosophies and guidelines to be implemented in the high schools at the start of the 2012-13 school year. Parents and students are encouraged to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at North Side High School, 475 E. State Blvd., to hear more about the changes. Last year, a task force made up of high school level teachers and administrators was created to review grading practices. The task force's goal was to establish district-wide grading practices that are consistent and accurately reflect what students have learned. The task force examined FWCS current grading practices as well as national research regarding the role of non-academic factors in grades, such as attendance, discipline, work habits, participation, etc., homework purposes and expectations, the weight given to various assignments, tasks and exams and the practice of issuing extra credit. The new guidelines reflect what research shows are the most effective ways to accurately measure academic achievement. The changes still allow for professional judgment by teachers, but the judgments will be guided by practices that maximize accuracy and fairness for students. For instance, students are expected to turn in assignments on time, but even if a student misses a deadline, they are still responsible for completing the work. Late work may be docked points, however. Zeros will only be used when there is insufficient evidence of student learning, and a new grading scale will prevent zeros from being weighted unfairly in comparison with other grades. "The task force spent many hours reviewing the best ways to fairly and accurately grade students for the work they do," said Debra Faye Williams-Robbins, High School Area Administrator. "We believe the new guidelines achieve the goal of issuing grades that reflect what students have learned rather than focusing too heavily on nonacademic factors, such as attitude, effort or punctuality. While those are important skills, they shouldn't override our academic focus." Those attending the meeting at North Side should enter through Door 1 and proceed to the cafeteria.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.