It was shared that some of our students may not receive full consideration for scholarships, and in some cases admission, because we do not have a 5.0 grading scale, which gives additional “weight” to Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme courses. The Study Group determined the potential implementation of a weighted grading scale warranted research and consideration.
As doing what is best for all students is always our focus, the Study Group felt it was important to make a recommendation before the end of the 2016-2017 school year in order to give the Class of 2018 and those classes thereafter the benefit of the weighted scale prior to college admission deadlines. After researching practices in like districts and at colleges and universities, the committee submitted a proposal to the Northville High School staff, District Curriculum Council and the Board of Education recommending the addition of a 5.0 grading scale at Northville High School.
Prior to any Board of Education action on a change of this magnitude, Northville Schools seeks stakeholder feedback. The high school administration, along with the Office of Instruction, presented the proposal at the NHS PTSA meeting on Friday, May 12th, at a Counselor Coffee Chat on Tuesday, May 16th and at a Grading Information Night on Wednesday, May 17th. Additionally, the proposal was shared through the NHS Mustang Trail on Friday, May 12th. There were a number of questions and concerns raised from both students and parents around the implementation timeline, the impact on admissions and the discontinuation of the existing expanded scale for Honors, AP and IB classes. Given the level of feedback from the high school community, prior to broader district communication, the Grading and Assessment Study Group convened on Tuesday, May 23rd, and after considerable discussion and consideration, determined the implementation of a weighted scale needs further study. The Board of Education supported the committee’s recommendation to delay consideration of any changes to the grading matrix pending further study, communication, and stakeholder feedback.
The Grading and Assessment Study Group is expanding its membership to include parents, students and additional staff members. The study process will include a more detailed review of peer district grading scales, college and university admissions and scholarship standards and protocols, and the development of a more comprehensive communication plan to address the issues and concerns expressed by stakeholders. Finally, in the event that a change to the current grading matrix is recommended following a more in-depth study process, there will be opportunities for public comment prior to consideration by the Board of Education, with a final decision made in advance of the course selection process for the school year in which the changes would be implemented. This means that any proposed changes to the current grading matrix will not be implemented prior to the 2018-19 school year.
At Northville Public Schools, we are proud of our strong Tradition of Excellence as we seek to open A World of Possibilities for and with our students. We will continue to study best practices in grading and assessment and share our findings with our stakeholders. We appreciate the passion and dedication to excellence from our students, families and community.