New Reforms from the School Board

Policy change effects AP students

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New Reforms from the School Board

Kiersten Watkins, Staff Writer

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Millard Public School’s Board changes the grading scale for advanced placement and dual enrollment classes. Reforms to Policy 6330.1 were recently approved in a board meeting on Nov. 5th.

Policy 6330.1 explains the grading guidelines for students in second through twelfth grade. The recent changes affect high school students that are participating in high level classes. There is now a new weighted grading system within AP classes with this change to the policy. Along with the AP changes, the grading scale for dual enrollment has been altered to match the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s scale.

“We have one of the hardest grading scales out there,” AP World History teacher Mr. Royers said. “For most school districts, a 90% is an ‘A’, so these other schools wouldn’t need to clarify this change because their grading scale already matches UNO’s scale.”

The policy was altered to give students taking higher level classes a better opportunity to receive the grade that they want. Instead of earning five grade points to earn a four, students will earn 10 grade points. Ultimately, this weighted grading system will improve a student’s overall GPA.

The ideas presented to the school board have been part of an ongoing discussion within the school board. A few of Millard West’s teachers approached the school board and insisted on a change.

“I thought the changes made were greatly needed for Millard schools,” Royers said. “I believe that many of my students will benefit from the altered policy, especially those who decided to participate in the dual enrollment program.”

Many students and teachers thought that the changes made to the policy were needed. Many administrators thought these reforms will greatly influence students’ decision to get involved with higher level classes.

“As we are trying to have our students challenge themselves, we want them to get rewarded too,” Assistant Principal Dr. Allen said. “They deserve to be rewarded for the hard work that they put in and I just think we are always constantly rethinking and trying to meet the students needs when they are challenging themselves.”

Students that have decided to partake in the dual enrollment program have a chance to earn better grades at the end of the semester. UNO’s grading scale gives students a larger opportunity to get a higher grade. The scale goes by tens, receiving a one means getting a 90% or higher in that class.

“I don’t necessarily know if it has a huge impact on AP overall because not every AP class offers dual enrollment, but I definitely think it makes dual enrollment more lucrative,” Royers said. “A 90% is a lot easier to obtain than a 93% as far as an ‘A’ is concerned. All of a sudden it’s less of a risk to dual enroll and so I think it’ll definitely increase participation.”

Many of the students participating in AP classes are satisfied with the changes made, especially those who haven’t taken higher level classes before. Knowing students have support from the board gives them reassurance that they can do well and they have help.  

“I think the new changes will add some assurance to kids who get around 90% because they will be guaranteed a one in the UNO grade books,” sophomore Amy Aguilar said. “Knowing that the grading system for college grades is better, it motivates me to make sure I can keep at least a good college grade.”

The policy change was put into place to benefit AP and dual enrollment students. Giving students this extra gap to earn better grades can be easily achieved with the willingness to work hard. Millard is trying support students who put forth the extra effort and hard work to achieve what they want.

“I don’t want it to just be about the GPA, it’s a nice incentive, but personally I want them to enjoy their classes, enjoy the challenge and enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something when they work really hard,” Allen said. “I think that has a lifetime of reward in it right there.”

The Millard School Board will meet once more after Thanksgiving break. This meeting will assure students and families of the new changes with advanced placement and dual enrollment classes.

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