Shift in Grade Scale Effective for 2015-16 School Year
As a school faculty we have been reviewing our grade scale in comparison to colleges and other similar high schools this past school year. We have been working with students and parents over the years with various concerns about our current grading scale. In researching similar schools and colleges we find that we are one of a few high schools with an eight point scale. While we do not believe this is a disadvantage to our students, we do feel it is time to provide more consistency in our grade scale for college courses that are taught on our campus and for consistency with other high schools throughout Ohio and the country. There is a national movement towards a consistent 10 point scale and we feel that it is the right time to make a change to a ten point scale in our district. Beginning in August with the 2015-2016 school year, the grade point average scale will be based on a 10-point scale from our current 8-point grading scale.
We vetted all of our research and this proposal through the NAHS and NAMS building leadership teams every step along the way. We have also opened that research and discussion up to our entire staff and to parents serving on our Curriculum Advisory Council. Out of 20 schools that we bench marked ourselves against, we were one of a few schools that deviated from a 90/80/70/60 grading scale. Grandview Heights High School was the only high school in Central Ohio that had a grading scale similar to ours and they are also transitioning to a 10-point scale next school year. Our proposal is a 6th-12th grade grading scale that students at NAMS would also follow and it aligns with the 90/80/70/60 model that our competitor high schools currently use.
Grades earned prior to and including the 2014-2015 school year will not change. We will include specific instructions about the grading scale differences with student transcripts so that prospective colleges and universities are able to understand the new scale. This will be clearly marked on the transcript and affiliated high school profile. There will be no retroactive changes to grades earned prior to August, 2015.
When the new grade scale goes into effect during the 2015-2016 school year, the grades will be reflected by the letter designation as they have in the past. To assist you, we have created a table to help you understand the changes and how they will impact your student.
As you review the table, you will notice that the point value of each letter grade does not change because of the grading scale. Our system identifies the letter grade and then assigns the grade point value, not the percentage. This means that even though the range is expanded, there will be no negative impact on students’ cumulative grade point averages. For example, a "B-" in each scale is still valued at 2.67 points. The change in grade scale will not have a negative impact when averaged for the overall cumulative grade point calculation.
We will continue to focus our efforts on providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum, and foster positive relationships with students in order to create the best possible conditions for them to succeed. It is our belief that the grading scale should not determine the rigor of our curriculum, but rather, rigor should be determined by the depth of the instruction, the activities planned, the skill development, and the relevant learning opportunities we provide.
Dwight Carter, Principal, NAHS Jeff Stahlman, College Counselor, NAHS Emily Jablonka, Principal, NAMS