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District To Implement New Grading System

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With a new school year often comes changes. One major change parents will be seeing in the Sioux Falls School District is how their child is graded this year.

It's what every parent looks for come report card time. Did they get an A? Or maybe even a B? That's all about to change, at least, for parents with students in kindergarten through 5th grade. This year, they'll have numbers to look forward to.

Sioux Falls School District Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Sue McAdaragh said, "That's a lot easier to identify than placing them on a 100 point scale, which is what that A,B,C, D, F scale was."

Officials with the Sioux Falls School District say in years past there was just too much going on.    

McAdaragh said, "We've had different report cards for the different levels. We've had a kindergarten report card look different than the 1st and 2nd look different than 3rd, 4th and 5th. We also had different grading scales."

This is what they came up with: Each child will receive a number for a grade. A four is the highest, which means the student is doing more or knows more than what's being taught. A three is what teachers want to see.

McAdaragh said, "That's our goal for every child, to be proficient in their understanding."

A two means the student is approaching proficiency or they're not quite there yet. And a one, the lowest on the scale, is what the district calls a red flag. The child needs more work on the subject.

"The object is to make sure we're communicating more and more exactly what that child knows and is able to do," said McAdaragh.

That also means grading students more in detail. Rather than just receiving a grade in math. Students will be graded on things like measurement and data, geometry and algebra.

McAdaragh said, "Maybe they are at a four in geometry but in algebra they are still approaching that proficient level so then they have a two."

A grading system, the district hopes will be easier for parents, teachers and even children to understand.

The middle schools in the Sioux Falls School District are also implementing a similar grading scale this year.
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