Mixed responses to the new grading system

Half a school year has gone by, and regarding the new grading system, teachers and upper-level students tend to favor Westbrook’s new grading system, while younger students wish we had the old one back.

WESTBROOK- This year at Westbrook High School, many changes have been made, one of the most significant being the new grading system. Westbrook students have had many forms of grading through the years, including proficiency-based grading on a scale of one through four. In the 2019-2020 school year, the school community finalized “traditional 1-100 scale grading.” 

 

Multiple people would say Westbrook’s “new 1-100” grading system is “the old system.” This is true for almost all the teachers, but for students, they have never been graded this way. This comes with many other changes to the new grading system, requiring students to take midterm and final tests, something that they didn’t have to do with standardized grading, for example.

 

Many teachers and students agreed that the new grading system helps better students for their future. “The new grading system helps high schoolers prepare them to learn how to asset and better tackle and budget their time to pass the exams and at the college level,” Mr. Moran, Westbrook’s French teacher said. “What you see now with this grading system is what you will end up seeing in college; it prepares you for that workforce and life after high school.” 

 

After talking to WHS teachers and students, it has been found that teachers and upperclassmen tend to prefer the 1-100 grading system. Teachers grew up using 1-100 grading, so it’s easier for them to understand.

 

“The current grading system is very transparent to students. You can easily figure out what your grade is, and how different assignments will impact your grade and that’s beneficial to the student and to the teachers,” Ms. Keef, WHS science teacher, explained. 

After speaking with multiple upperclassmen, the majority approve of the new grading system rather than the old one. “The new grading system really betters us and helps us to be prepared for college next year, it was challenging transitioning from the old grading system to the new one in our last year of high school, but again, it will help all of us for our future,” senior Elizabeth Cole said.  

 

A significant factor in students’ opinions on the grading system has to do with JumpRope and Infinite Campus. Infinite Campus is a student’s online service to check grades and other important details such as attendance and important messages. Many students prefer this outlet rather than JumpRope, the school’s previous grading site. 

 

“JumpRope was always shut down; there were a lot of bugs,” senior Brayden Demers claimed. “It was a new system, so things were always broken.”

 

“Infinite Campus is a lot better than JumpRope; it’s a lot easier to navigate grades.” Lucas Knapton, another senior, said. 

 

Another challenge that students are facing arise from changes to the remediation process. Many underclassmen don’t like the new grading because it doesn’t allow remediation on tests or quizzes, only permitting one retake per semester. Students can’t turn in homework or school work late, and everything must be on time. 

 

“The old one is better; it is easier to get a good grade because if you’re struggling with a topic the first time, you can remediate it,” sophomore Andrew Woody commented. 

 

There were quite a few students who struggled on where to stand. This was based mostly on midterms and HOWL, or Habits of Work and Learning. The old grading system was based on HOWL, through which students were graded on showing up to class and doing homework, classwork, and tests. 

 

As for midterms and finals, students didn’t have to worry about standardized grading. This year, students were required to take a standardized test that would count as 20 percent of their semester grade. Many students were against this, especially the upperclassmen who have never experienced such testing.

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