Board of Education To Vote on New Grading System

The Montgomery County Board of Education is expected to vote on a new grading system for both the fourth marking period and overall semester at its May 12 meeting.

Because students only have been learning on line due to the pandemic, the Montgomery County Public Schools has been reluctant to assign a letter grade.

During the meeting, which begins at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on the MCPS website, board members are expected to discuss several options, ranging from actual letter grades to a pass or incomplete system.

The grading plan for secondary students will address overall semester grades, grade point averages and how grades of final transcripts.

The choices are:

  • A universal Pass/Incomplete as a final semester grade for all students
  • Students receive a final letter grade that is the same as their 3rd Marking Period grade
  • Students receive a final letter grade that is one letter grade higher than their 3rd Marking Period grade
  • Students have the option of receiving a final letter grade or a Pass/Incomplete

“This is our new normal,” explained Scott Murphy, director of MCPS’ Department of secondary curriculum and districtwide programs, in a short video.
“We also need to find this new normal of what grading looks like,” he said.

The board is considering applying students’ third period grade and making it also their semester grade, he said. However, some students didn’t do as well as they usually do that marking period, because of the “abrupt closing” of schools, he said.

The board received input from parents who want their children to get letter grades, especially for the semester, in preparation for applying to college, Murphy said, noting, “We’ve heard a lot of feedback from our community about the importance of letter grades.”

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