By TIFFANY BRUNGART, JULIA SCHALL, and TAYLOR SHAFFER
As the new school year starts, the students are faced with new changes! Things do change every year, in one way or another, but this year the changes have been more extreme. The grading policies, and attendance policies for both middle and highschool students, has changed.
For the grading policy, the retesting policy has lowered from an 85%, to a 76%. You must score under a 76% to be eligible to retest, and your score can only be brought up to that grade as well. For the attendance policy, a student may only miss 18 days. Any other days that the student is absent will result in an Unlawful Absence.
To receive more inside information for our topic, we interviewed a teacher at Central Mountain High School. Donna Mayes claimed the reason for the grading policy changes was that the grading system was, “Too lenient” and that “Students weren’t trying their best with the first attempt. They assumed they could just retest and get a better grade on their second attempt.” She also said that she believed the new grading policy would help students raise their expectations for themselves, and give them a more realistic view on their grades.
Along with asking about the grading policy, we asked Donna Mayes questions regarding the new attendance policy. We mentioned that students couldn’t miss more than 18 days of school, and that if a student didn’t show up by 9:30 a.m., the parents were messaged, emailed, and called by the school to notify of their child’s absence. She replied, “I agree with the new policy but parents do need to play a part in getting their kids to school. New communication procedures will work well.”
We also talked to one of the primary sources to the new policies. Nick Verrelli is the principal of Central Mountain High School, and had some things to say about the new policies. We asked him why he believed the new rules were put in place, and he responded, “We need them to start making sure that everyone is held accountable for their actions.” He also said that, “It’s a sense of responsibility to keep your grades in order.” A reason we are expected to keep our grades up is because other schools and colleges look at transcripts for highschool.
We asked Verrelli about the new attendance policies as well. We asked why it was put in place, and he said, “43% of students are missing more than 18 days of school. That’s 10% of the school year. We need to avoid the 10%.” We discussed some of the consequences with him about missing more than 18 days of school. If you do miss that many days or more, you lose privileges in school. Such as being kicked from extracurriculars, dances, and walking at graduation.
We then questioned whether or not Verrelli had a positive outlook on the new policies. We asked what he thought would happen in the school and he replied, “I think the rigor in the classroom will increase. Teachers are looking forward to the new policies within the school. They want kids to learn responsibility to learn the first time around and get good grades.”
As things are changing in Central Mountain, we believe that they will change for the better, and maybe we can bring change to the school as well.