Some parents question new grading system for Beach elementary students

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 8:20 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH --  A new grading system that eliminates the A - F scale is confusing some parents of elementary students in Virginia Beach.

This year, Virginia Beach City Schools rolled out a new standards-based grading system for elementary students. Instead of receiving commonly-used letter grades, parents get specific feedback on their child’s progress.

Jason Gignac wrote 13News Now asking about the new system.  “Our children are being unfairly graded. Why do we keep doing these strange programs?” he asked. 

Here's how it works- AP= advanced proficiency, P= proficient, DP= developing proficiency and N=novice.

“Standards-based grading is an emerging national trend that progressive school divisions across the country are embracing,” according to the Virginia Beach City Schools website.

Also, children will earn a score for each standard tied to a specific subject.

Children must earn all “AP” or “P” in order to make honor roll.

Gignac says he learned about the change at a recent parent-teacher conference.

“We started talking about my son’s grades, and discovered he will not be making honor roll under the new and confusing system.  Effectively they have removed the C grade from the system,” Gignac said. 

VBCPS spent two years field testing the report card format at four elementary schools: Christopher Farms, Hermitage, Malibu and Pembroke.

“The standards-based report card was developed with input from parents and staff to better inform parents of their children's academic progress,” school officials wrote.

Report cards go home November 12 and parents can read more about the new grading system by clicking here.

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