Albemarle County Public Schools encouraged by new grading policy

Albemarle County Schools sign
Albemarle County Schools sign
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 9:11 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE Co., Va. (WVIR) - With more than a quarter of the school year in the books, Albemarle County Public Schools is optimistic about its new grading policy.

Students are now 12 weeks into the 2021-22 school year, which is the first to utilize the new grading policy. Homework will no longer be counted toward students’ final grades, nor will behaviors such as attendance. The school district is encouraged by what it’s seeing so far.

“We’re getting closer to a grading model that really reflects our policies, and specifically around being supportive of student learning,” said Michael Craddock, the Director of Professional Learning.

Craddock said this research-backed policy can be beneficial for students.

“As we continue to roll this out, as we continue to make this work, it’s ultimately going to make for a less stressful environment for our students,” he said.

ACPS held a workshop with parents on Wednesday to go over changes, and there were some questions about why it’s being done.

One large reason, according to the school district, is uniformity. It says that was something that was lacking, as evidenced by a 2018 survey of its previous grading policy.

“On the question of how often do you include items like tardiness, attendance, or participation in class to a final grade, 28% of the teachers said never and 28% said always,” said ACPS Spokesperson Phil Giaramita.

Another reason is to instill confidence in students, by not putting pressure on them to get every ‘practice’ homework question right.

Craddock said that has been a big benefit so far.

“We want them to keep practicing until they’re ready for those summative moments in that test or that project where they’re showing what they know,” he said.

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