District dumps the D | PostIndependent.com

District dumps the D

Under the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District’s standards-based grading system, teachers will look at the letter D grade in a whole new light.

“We’re making it unacceptable for a student to slide by with a D,” said Judy Haptonstall, Re-1’s assistant superintendent. “And we’re doing that because we want help them gain the knowledge they need to be successful.”

Susan Hakanson, Re-1 board president, said the district is still using the 4.0 grade point average system, in which a D will equal 1, a C will equal 2, a B will equal 3, and an A will equal 4.

The difference is, teachers won’t be handing out Ds.

“Theoretically, the D is still there, but we’re not going to be using them,” said Hakanson. Instead, she explained, if a student cannot demonstrate proficiency in a subject area, that student will receive an F ” with a very positive catch: After receiving an F, the student will have six weeks to work with teachers to pull that grade up.

Hakanson said school officials will send a letter home with each report card if a student is below proficiency in any area. That letter will include an individual learning plan from the teacher to help the student become proficient.

Best yet, when the student can demonstrate mastery of the subject, the original nonproficient grade won’t be recorded in the student’s permanent transcripts.

Glenwood Springs High School principal Mike Wells said it’s up to the student to do the work to improve a grade ” even a C or B ” and the school will provide time first thing in the morning to do just that.

“You can look at it like driving a car,” said Re-1’s Haptonstall. “When I talk to kids about this, I ask them how many passed their driving test the first time.

“A lot of us didn’t pass the first go-around. What if we were held to that first grade, and never got to learn the material and retake that test?

“Before, a kid would take an F and life went on. What standards-based grading does is allow a student a second chance,” Haptonstall said.

” By Carrie Click, Post Independent Staff

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