Last updated: April 10. 2014 2:53PM - 746 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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London City Schools will grade most students on a 10-point system, beginning in August.

In a 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday, April 8, board of education members elected to replace the district’s traditional seven-point grading method. Martha Geib, M.D., cast the lone “no” vote.

Geib said she followed the wishes of constituents who expressed concerns over the proposed change.

All other Madison County public schools grade on a 10-point scale, except for Tolles Career & Technical Center.

London’s change affects students in grades 3-12. Kindergarten students, as well as those in first and second grade, do not receive letter grades.

A committee of 26 teachers and administrators proposed the change in March, following a year of discussion.

High school Principal Chad Eisler said the change will “level the playing field” for London graduates when competing with their peers for college scholarships and admissions. He said most other Ohio schools employ a 10-point system.

Curriculum director Gayle Reidenbach said the 10-point scale will better align student grades with their ACT scores.

Under the new grading system, a score of 90-100 earns an A; 80-89 a B; 70-79 a C; 60-69 a D; 0-59 an F.

The shift will create problems for some students, but will benefit a majority, Eisler said in March.

Also on Tuesday, board members tabled the recommended 2014-15 school calendar, following a lengthy debate.

Board member Darryl Brown questioned proposed dates for the district’s 2015 spring break, April 2-7. Brown suggested a spring break that falls annually at the end of the third nine-week grading period.

Brown also questioned a proposed non-paid, non-working day on Oct. 17. Brown asked if the traditional school holiday could move to Oct. 13 to coincide with Columbus Day, a state and federal holiday when many parents are also at home.

Teachers and support staff voted 60 to 63 in support of the calendar presented on Tuesday. A second calendar option scheduled spring break for March 30 to April 3, 2015.

Geib also expressed concern over the proposed dates for next year’s spring break.

Board member Curtis Brooks said the issue needs further discussion.

In other meeting business on Tuesday, board members:

• Approved the five-year financial forecast presented by treasurer Kristine Blind. Blind said the district’s 1 percent income tax expires in 2015. Renewal is necessary for the school system to remain in the black, she said.

Blind expects to add $179,000 to the district’s cash balance in June as the current fiscal year ends.

• Agreed to spend $94,122 for a new school bus. A trade-in allowance of $14,500 for two used buses brings net cost of the new bus to $79,622.

• Approved new contracts for 43 teachers and two administrators, including special services director Amanda Alice and elementary principal Carol Daniels. Maintenance supervisor Steve Browning also received a new contract.

• Approved retirements for Elizabeth Spinning, Marlene Brumfield and Terri Gray, effective in May and June.

• Granted early high school graduation for Taiki Asaga and Yoshitaka Ono.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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