Oktibbeha schools consider change to grading system

March 4, 2009



STARKVILLE -- Oktibbeha County School District officials changed the district''s grading system from a seven-point to a 10-point system at their meeting, Tuesday night. 




Oktibbeha School District Superintendent James Covington suggested the change, specifically mentioning athletes and other seniors trying to qualify for scholarships.  




"If we''re on the seven-point (scale) and someone else is on the 10-point, a 91 is a B here but an A somewhere else," Covington said. 




He said the difference in GPA caused by the different letter grades can cost a student thousands of dollars in lost scholarship money. 




Covington said he polled school district teachers and found 79 percent favored a change. He proposed either a straight 10-point scale where 59 and below is an F or a modified 10-point scale where a 64 and below is an F. 




"We''re not lowering our standards. We''re just giving kids every chance to be successful," Covington said. "I think it''s a good more for our district." 




The board voted unanimously to adopt the 10-point scale on Yvette Rice''s motion and Herman Bush''s second. An A now is 90-100, a B is 80-89, a C is 70-79, a D is 60-69 and an F is 59 and below. 




"It gives our children a better chance at scholarships and the amount of scholarships they are going to get," Rice said. 




In other business, Covington said he will open bids for the roof repairs at East Elementary School this week, and he may have to call a special board meeting to approve a bid and allow the work to begin. 




He announced that the school district should receive about $900,000 over the next two academic years as their part of the America''s Recovery Act, otherwise known as the stimulus bill passed by the U.S. Congress. He said the money will come with strict limits on how it can be spent. 




"Whatever we have to do, we''ll do it if it''s in the best interest of our children," Covington said of receiving this money. 




The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors Monday appointed Pryor and Morrow as the architects for the new school district central office, which will be located adjacent to the old central office building and on the current site of New Process Cleaners. 




"I know it''s a county government building, but we have to live there and operate there," Covington said.