The Fieldcrest Board of Education approved a change to the grading scale at their monthly meeting at the middle school in Wenona Wednesday night.
The new scale is A -100-90; B - 80-89; C - 70-79; D - 60-69; F - below 60. The change was made to bring the school in conformity to other schools and also to give the students an incentive to work to bring their grade up to the next level. The change also was motivated by the stress imposed upon students due to the pandemic which many feel is reflected in lower grades this year. In addition semester exams will be calculated as a minimum of ten percent (10%) to a maximum of twenty percent (20%) of a student's overall grade. For the fall semester of 2020... semester exams will either be graded with the weight of a regular test/daily grade OR if weighted as with the current plan, the result will not lower a student's overall letter grade impacting grade points received.
Superintendent Dr. Kari Rockwell said the middle school, high school, and school board are committed to discussing, researching, and planning for a review of the grade scale after this school year. She added that the student board representatives gave insight on the grading scale change. The review of the grade scale will take place this spring, prior to the end of the year so that a plan can be in place prior to the 21-22 school year.
In other business the board approved the 2021 tax levy of $8,926,544, approved the renewal of the commercial insurance policy with Country Mutual for $98,468.00, approved the issuance of General Obligation bonds for non-HLS project work for $15,500,000 and approved the 2021-2022 curriculum guide and course catalog.
The board approved a 3 year improvement plan at the middle school. Only 39% of the students met or exceeded expectations based on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness although 60% showed improvement from 2018-2019. The main focus is on math which is due to high turnover in the math department (Minimum of 8 teachers in past 5 years in middle school), 1.5 math employees for 230 students over 3 grade levels, lack of vertically aligned curriculum, and shortage of math teaching tools and materials. The math department (as of 20-21) has 2 math teachers for 198 kids, a new math curriculum, and multiple math teaching materials/tools. The district made a large investment into the math department in late 19-20 and the summer prior to this school year.
In personnel matters Brian Bradbury will retire on December 31, 2020 but will remain as a substitute teacher and Denise Duffy will retire on June 30, 2021. Megan Lawrence will transfer on August 1, 2021 to teach first grade replacing Marion Kennel who is retiring. The board approved early graduation for Myka Stutzman who will continue her studies at ICC and also work.
A board zoom meeting to approve abatement bids for the MS and HS is set for 6:30 pm on 12/23.