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Clark-Pleasant Community Schools discusses grading system

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WHITELAND, Ind. -- Clark-Pleasant Community Schools is considering how to roll out a new grade reporting system for its middle and high school students called standards-based grading. It's something the district says will benefit students, though it's drawing some concern from parents.

"We're still having letter grades, we're still having GPA's," Superintendent Patrick Spray said.

The district started rolling out standards-based reporting years ago for grades K-6 and now is looking at how to implement it at secondary levels.

"It's about progression and how you progress along that scale," Spray said.

The district said it will help students receive specific feedback. Students won't just get a letter grade back, a teacher can also use a proficiency scale. It may be one through four with one as "beginning" and four as "mastery" to measure a student's performance on defined standards.

"This is just very similar to how teachers have always integrated rubrics into their letter grade system and their point system," Spray said.

District leaders took time during a presentation Monday night to explain it to a room of about 60 parents. Some had concerns.

"I'm really concerned about both of my students that work at above grade level classes and I want to make sure that this grading scale does not impact them when they get to the point of college entrance," said Joanne Matthews, a parent.

"What we have may not be perfect but it does seem to be better than what they're trying to implement," said Chris Bunch, another parent.

Spray said it's about helping prepare kids for the future.

"Kids are needing to collaborate more, communicate better, be able to be creative thinkers and how are we designing a system that really measures kids on that and teaches them towards those skills," Spray said.

Spray said there are other schools across the state using standards-based reporting. No timeline is finalized, but he said it would be at least two years until it was used at the high school.

The district has posted more information here.