KONZ | JCPS school board to discuss reducing number of report ca - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | JCPS school board to discuss reducing number of report cards at elementary level

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Grading periods may get longer and the number of report cards elementary students in Jefferson County Public Schools bring home may be fewer, according to a proposal school board members will discuss on Monday.

JCPS has been exploring the possibility of moving from six grading periods to four grading periods at its elementary and middle schools for the past few years, said Dewey Hensley, chief academic officer for the district.

Officials recently sent out a survey to teachers, staff and parents about adjusting the district's grading cycles to four times a year so that they would align to the four curriculum cycles and assessment cycles at the elementary and middle school level.

According to the results, 93 percent of elementary teachers, staff and parents surveyed said they were in favor of making the change, while 82 percent of those surveyed at the middle school level said they supported the move.

It appears the district would like to move forward with the proposal at the elementary level for the 2015-16 year, but hold off until the 2016-17 year for its middle school students until officials can gather more information.

However, Hensley said the proposal is only on the agenda as an information item and that the school board is not yet being asked to vote or make any decisions. 

"We want to give them the results of the survey and see what they have to say," Hensley said. "Our hope is that they will explore the data and consider which cycle would work best at the elementary level by the end of March."

Moving to four grading cycles means students would receive a report card once every nine weeks (four times a year), as opposed to receiving one every six weeks like they currently do.

Officials said parents would have access to their children's grades all the time by using the district's parent portal, but some parent groups have been critical of the portal in the past because not all teachers update it regularly. 

Hensley said parents and schools would also have more time to respond to a student's needs prior to report cards being issued.

"It would bring some consistency for our students, parents and schools as it relates to curriculum, assessments and grades," he said.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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