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|Parish changes grading policy|
High school students at Ouachita Parish Schools will no longer have their mid-term and final exams averaged into their overall grade following a policy change in the school system's pupil progression plan.
The plan was amended by the Ouachita Parish School Board during last week's regular meeting.
School system personnel director Dr. Don Coker said the changes in the pupil progression plan were recommended by a majority of the system's school principals.
"Teachers will have the flexibility of giving a six-week's grade, and a test just before they get out for mid-term (during the Christmas break)," Coker said. "But, as far as it being averaged in, that will no longer be done."
In the past, teachers would average a student's first, second and third "six week" performance and average in a mid-term exam score to obtain a student's first semester grade.
For the final semester, teachers would average in a student's fourth, fifth and sixth "six week" performance and a final exam score to obtain that semester's average.
At that point, teachers would average the first semester and the second semester to determine a student's final grade.
"Now, teachers will only average in the first, second, and third six weeks to get the first semester grade and the fourth, fifth and sixth weeks to get the second semester grade," Coker said.
Teachers will have the option of giving a mid-term exam, but the results will not be averaged into the overall semester grade as in previous years.
"This is a pretty big change, and it probably will be an advantage to the students," Coker said. "A lot of times these tests have hurt our students rather than helped them."
For example, a student who maintains a C average during a given semester could fail a mid-term or final exam and receive a failing grade for that semester.
Students with an A average all semester could wind up with a B or C average if they scored poorly on the mid-term or final exams.
The change also will be advantageous for teachers as they will have more days for instructional learning at the end of the first semester, Coker said.
Previously, teachers would be required to prep students for several days prior to the mid-term exams. Another week would be set aside for students to take mid-term exams, which were given before students were let out for the Christmas break.
Another change involves how a student will receive credit for a course. Now, in April and May of each school year, middle school and high school students will be required to take an "end of course" exam to receive credits for that course, Coker said.
Changes to the pupil progression plan are effective immediately.