For a long time, grading standards and the execution of policies across Dothan City Schools have been vague and inconsistent, making it difficult for parents and students to know what is expected of them and how to get the most out of each school year.
“To my knowledge, what we do in terms of instruction – it has not been put together in one document,” Edwards told the board during Thursday’s scheduled work session. The committee, she said, combed over guides, handbooks, and board policies for months.
“The process was very tedious,” Director of Curriculum Maria Johnson said. “We came to many things that didn’t fit our mission anymore.”
Central office personnel along with staff and administration from elementary and secondary schools formed a 44-person committee in December to help condense, clarify, and update policies and curriculum and grading standards into a document of more than 420 pages called the Student Progression Plan to serve as a guide.
“As they were going through, they noticed a number of areas where a policy may be different from what the practice is and so on and so forth,” Edwards said at the meeting. “This is a huge document that we’ve never had before where a lot of different pieces have been pulled together in one site so that, as a parent, you can say, ‘Oh, my child is about to go into the ninth grade. How many credits does a ninth grader need? What does it take to become a sophomore?’
“It’s also been a clean-up because there are things that have been written that have not been in practice. You have to match what you’re actually doing or what you expect to do. What is the highest standard that we want from student progression and student achievement?”
The guide is packed with information: grading rules regarding percentages and bonus points, processes and requirements for graduating early and on time, course descriptors, retention and promotion procedures, and rules regarding absenteeism and makeup work.
The document serves not only as informational literature for parents and teachers, but also details criteria for teachers to form policies concerning classroom behavior, missed assignments, and homework.
For example, the guide included a policy that bonus points awarded on an assessment may not exceed more than 5% of its total point value.
The document serves not only as informational literature for parents and teachers, but also details criterion for teachers to form policies concerning classroom behavior, missed assignments, and homework.
The board will have a month to review the document for approval and incorporate the plan into the board policy.
The document can be referenced here.