Parents Turnout to Talk About How Kodiak Students Are Graded

Homework (Photo by Bertram Nudelbach/flickr)

Mitch Borden/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough School District held a public forum last night to hear if parents want to change the way some students are graded.

Melissa Haffeman, the principal of Kodiak Middle School helped moderate the discussion. She says, 6th through 12th grade students are currently assessed on a 0 to 4 scale known as “Standards-Referenced” grading.

According to her, it examines students’ understanding of subjects rather than having them earn points to achieve a grade, like in 100-point letter grading. Haffeman says a lot of people aren’t used to the Standards-Referenced system, even though the district’s used it for about seven years.

“The feedback we heard loud and clear tonight is that the current system is confusing.”

It’s not just parents who find it confusing. The district started reviewing its policy over the summer, says Haffeman. It asked for feedback from students and teachers. She says the majority want more traditional grading.

“And when to hear a ground swell from teachers, and staff, students, and now, tonight, parents, you can’t ignore it.”

At the end of the forum, Haffeman announced she’d put together a proposal to present to Kodiak’s Board of Education urging it to change the way middle and high school students are graded. She’s hoping this can happen as soon as October.

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