By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Board OKs weighted grading
Placeholder Image

MONROE - A weighted grading system will be implemented with this year's incoming freshmen at Monroe High School.

For decades, the high school has used a standard 4.0 scale, regardless of whether the course was an advanced placement. Under the weighted grading scale, a student who receives an A in an advanced placement course would receive 5.0 points toward his grade point average, while a student who receives a B would get 4.0 points.

The Monroe School Board unanimously approved the weighted grading system Monday, Aug. 13.

"We feel like it's a much better system than the one we have," Monroe School District Superintendent Cory Hirsbrunner said. "It's not a perfect system, but it's a much better system."

In July, the Student Recognition Committee, comprised of parents, teachers and administrators, proposed a weighted grading system where some AP courses could get a one-point add-on and other advanced or dual credit courses could receive a 0.5 point add-on.

It's still to be determined by the committee which courses will be weighted. High school teachers will be able to submit courses for the weighted grading system; the committee will review and approve classes for 0.5 or one-point add-ons. Hirsbrunner said the committee will have to review which courses will be weighted every year.

"If they (courses) are approved as an add-on this year, it doesn't mean they will be approved next year," she said.

Proponents of the plan cite the need to have students take more rigorous courses in subject areas where they are strong. Some say students are reluctant to take AP courses for fear they won't attain as high a grade as they would by taking a standard course.

The 16-member committee researched several student recognition systems since the spring, including the standard 4.0 scale, a no-class ranking system, a quartile system that divides students into quarters, a summa cum laude and magna cum laude system designating levels of honor, and a weighted system.

Monroe High School Principal Rick Waski said one of the first tasks of the committee may be to set some benchmarks for what type of courses should receive 0.5 and one-point add-ons.

Board members supported the plan, but they made it clear they want weighted courses offered throughout the curriculum.

"I think it sends a great message to all areas that this is important to have rigor throughout the school," Monroe School Board President Bob Erb said.

In other business, Monroe Business Manager Ron Olson and board member Larry Eakins updated the board on the district's early plans to have about 70 video cams installed in schools throughout the district.

In the district's finance meeting, Olson said the early estimates from two companies are about $65,000 to $70,000. The district has $30,000 budgeted in a long-term maintenance plan, he said.

Olson said the district would like to have the security cams installed by entrances to schools as well as some outside areas, including unsupervised and problem areas.

"The scary stuff that we read about and see is still out there," he said. "Camera systems won't stop that. The camera system can help us know who is where at the school in a harassing or threatening situation."

The board also:

- Honored Tom Rufenacht with the Lamp of Learning Staff Excellence Award. Rufenacht was honored for how managing the building maintenance department under a tight budget.

- Approved the resignation of Matt Fieck as a third-grade teacher at Northside Elementary School and hired Ashley Kruszka as a third-grade teacher at the school.

- Hired Donna Trimble as a an exceptional behavioral needs assistant at Northside School.

- Approved a leave of absence for Ramona Jenson, a sixth-grade teacher at Monroe Middle School; and approved the voluntary transfers of Nadine Whiteman from a seventh-grade science teacher to a sixth-grade science teacher and Wendy Dyrhaug from eighth-grade science to seventh-grade science.