FORT VALLEY -- The Peach County school board passed all its motions unanimously Tuesday but not without discussion.
The scheduled monthly meeting at the board office was the first for new members Ben Hoots and B.J. Walker, and Walker had some concerns regarding a new grading scale. Chiefly, he pointed out work ethic, critical thinking and communication aspects of the high-school level grading.
“Does this put an increase of burden on the teacher?” Walker asked.
Anita Mathis, assistant principal at Peach County High School, said teachers had requested an increased percentage for work ethic. She also said the inclusion of communication and collaboration was important for preparing students for both college and career opportunities.
“This way of grading them helps students see how the world is,” Mathis said.
Walker and other board members expressed concern that only 40 percent of a high school student’s grade would come from content, with the remaining portion of the grade coming from aspects that might be tougher to quantify. Mathis and Peach County High Principal Bruce Mackey clarified that those areas were outlined on rubrics using, for example, attendance as a factor for work ethic.
The need for a grading policy arose from the discovery that the county did not have a systemwide scale beyond the elementary school level.
“We had procedure in our handbook, but not a policy,” said Wanda Stewart, the county’s curriculum director.
In addition to the grading system, the board passed a new promotion and retention policy to reflect the omission of Criterion-Referenced Competency Test from the promotion process.
“With the new Georgia Milestones Test, we’re getting a waiver for that,” Stewart said of the statewide change.
Also Tuesday, the board:
Said there will not be a new football stadium at the proposed new Peach County High School. The football team will have a practice facility but will continue to play varsity games its current stadium until another special purpose local option sales tax was passed. Other teams would get new facilities at the new school.
Elected new officers. Ben McDaniel, previously the board’s vice chairman, was elected as chairman for the next two years, and Virginia Dixon was elected vice chairwoman.
To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.