Grading scale for advanced students altered

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 14, 2004

[5/14/04]Numerical grades for high school students in advanced classes will not need to be as high to earn the same letter grades after school-board action Thursday.

The new scale, proposed last month, was adopted by the Vicksburg Warren School Board of Trustees in its meeting at Vicksburg High School.

The purpose is to avoid penalizing students for making a “B” or “C” in a more challenging course when compared on college applications with students who make and “A” in a less challenging course.

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The VWSD uses a six-point grading scale, with the letter grades earned in advanced classes worth more on the scale than those earned in non-advanced classes.

When calculating grade-point averages, district high schools have been adding one point to each grade earned in an honors course and two to each grade earned in an advanced-placement course to each grade a student would have earned under the traditional four-point scale.

Also Thursday, the VWSD superintendent, Dr. James Price, told board members that a proposal to redraw district lines for elementary schools has been forwarded to the U.S. Justice Department for its review.

The federal department must approve school alignments here under consent decrees stemming from racial desegregation in the 1960s. The reversion to community schools has unanimous board support and no federal objection is expected.

The district has been operating with most students attending two large elementary schools under a modified school-choice plan that provides for administrative control of racial balance since 1999.

In other matters, the board:

Approved a teacher salary schedule under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Legislators, in their regular session this year, appropriated about $45 million less than the plan called for, leaving individual school districts to make up the difference, school chief financial officer Dale McClung said. Warren County property owners are expected to be asked to pay more in taxes to help close the gap.

Set 5 p.m. June 24 as the time for a public hearing on the school’s budget for the next fiscal year and noon July 1 as the time for a board vote on that budget. A budget work session will also be held prior to the public hearing, with a date and time to be announced.

Approved a request from Redwood Elementary School teacher Miki Ginn that she be allowed to take advantage of a state Department of Education-funded program that would allow her to take a sabbatical to do graduate work at Delta State University next school year. Ginn, who said she hopes to become an administrator, said the program requires that she return to the district and serve at least five years. She said the cost to the VWSD would be her annual supplement of $2,200.

Tabled a request from Price for several principal and other personnel reassignments within the district. District 1 Trustee Chad Barrett said he had not been made aware of the recommendations and he thought District 2 Trustee Zelmarine Murphy, who was absent, would want to be present for any vote taken on them. A supplemental meeting was to be held Monday at 7 a.m. to consider Price’s request.

In executive session, upheld an expulsion of one student and decided not to contract for services with one person, Price said.