First, you may know that South Carolina has changed the state uniform grading scale to a 10-point numeric scale. This uniform grading scale and the system for calculating grade point averages (GPAs) and class rank will allow South Carolina’s students to compete on a more even basis with students in neighboring states, who have already converted to a 10-point numeric scale, when applying for admission to college or for college scholarships.
Lexington County School District One will use this new numeric scale with students in Grades Three through Grade 12. Most report cards and transcripts for students in Grades Three through Grade 12 will use the following numeric grades:
F 59 and below
Our World Language courses, performing arts courses and any other courses that use proficiency scales will continue to do so. Also, any grades or schools using proficiency scales will continue to use proficiency scales.
Second, the district is tweaking some of its other grading practices based upon feedback from teachers and parents.
Over the past four months, Superintendent Little held four community meetings — one in each of the Gilbert, Lexington, Pelion and White Knoll communities.
At all of these meetings, teachers, parents and students commented on the district’s grading practices — something a team of principals and teachers had already begun studying. As a result, the district is making some changes to the district’s grading and assessment practices. For instance, students now have two types of retakes: choice retakes and recovery retakes.
Our goal is to have them master the information while providing a balance between holding them accountable and providing them with some second chances.
What is a choice retake?
For middle school courses, middle school students will have the opportunity to attempt to improve one summative grade per class per nine weeks (four per year) on an assessment that they made a high enough score on to show they have mastered the information (80% or greater).
Middle school students taking high school credit-bearing courses will follow the high school guidelines for retakes.
For high school credit-bearing courses, high school students will have the opportunity to attempt to improve one summative grade per class per nine weeks on a block schedule or one per semester for year-long courses on an assessment that they made a high enough score on to show they have mastered the information (80% or greater). If the student scores higher on the retest, that student can replace the first grade with the higher grade earned.
What is a recovery retake?
Middle and high school students will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their growth and improve grades on any summative assessment when their initial score is below minimal expectations for mastery (less than 80%). This is not limited to one per nine weeks if they are on a block schedule or one per semester if they are on a year-long course schedule. If the student scores higher on the retest, that student can replace the first grade with the higher one earned — up to 80%.
These changes apply to all college prep, honors, International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement courses in Lexington County School District One. Dual-credit courses follow the guidelines dictated by the cooperating college, university or technical college.
Third, we tweaked the way we deal with students missing deadlines for submitting work. When a student returns to school after an extended absence, teachers use their professional judgment to determine what assignments or assessments, etc., the student needs to make up, and they advise the student of any new deadline for a summative assessment with no grade penalty.
If, on the other hand, a student misses a deadline but has not been absent or had some other extenuating circumstance, he/she may request a one-time extension per class. This extension enables him/her to complete the work with no penalty to his/her grade. Any other missed assignments can earn no higher grade than 80%.
Our goal is to create grading practices that better reflect students’ learning and believe the above-noted tweaks will support students while they learn. We ask for your patience as we work with the S.C. Department of Education to convert to the new 10-point grading scale and as we work within our schools to adjust our practices.
We have some commonly asked questions and answers here.