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Decatur School Board to hold first reading of grading policy

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Decatur School Board to hold first reading of grading policy

Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center, City Schools of Decatur. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The City Schools of Decatur School Board will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. for a regular meeting. The meeting will be held in person at the Wilson School Support Center, 125 Electric Ave., and virtually via Zoom.

Here is the meeting schedule for Nov. 14:

Executive Session: 1 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Prework Session: 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Work Session: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Board Meeting: 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Public Comment: 6:30 p.m. – 6:50 p.m.

During the work session, the school board will hold the first reading of the grading policy. CSD has not had a formal grading policy. The draft policy outlines a four-point grading scale for kindergarten through fifth grade, and a 100-point scale for grades 6-12.

To access the meeting, follow these instructions:

To view the meeting agendas, click here.

To join the meetings via Zoom, click here. To join by phone, dial+1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592. The webinar ID is 956 1415 9391.

To make a public comment, in-person attendees can register online before the meeting or upon arrival by scanning a QR Code on the Board Room entrance. Registration will ensure that the district collects information necessary to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. Please ensure the name you enter on the form matches the name you use(d) to sign-up. If the names do not match, it will not be possible for you to be recognized to participate in public comment. To sign up for public comment, click here.

The policy also provides definitions for when to assign each grade for the four-point scale. The 100-point scale for middle and high school focuses on the mastery of state standards.

Students in the International Baccalaureate program would also be evaluated based on the IB middle years program and the IB diploma program. Additionally, the policy also outlines high school grade point averages and that bonus points will only be awarded for advanced coursework.

In 2021, the district formed a grading task force that was charged with studying equitable grading practices and offering recommendations. Last year, CSD implemented some of the recommendations from the task force.

Some of the recommendations from the task force included having a consistent grading system and platform, no longer using ManageBac for general grade recording and reporting, relating all grading to the mastery of content standards, and implementing clear policies, parameters, and boundaries around make-ups and retakes, according to the presentation.

– During the work session, the school board will also discuss a couple new staff positions, including a multi-tiered systems of support director and a comptroller.

“A Comptroller is an executive level position that is instrumental in the planning, organizing, reporting, and directing of financial responsibilities,” the agenda states.

The comptroller would be responsible for supervising payroll and accounting personnel, managing cash collections and capital assets, overseeing the annual audit, and providing financial reports.

The MTSS director would redesign the multi-tiered systems of support process, implement procedures that align with the Georgia Department of Education guidance, create monitoring systems and evaluate the process for potential improvements.

– The school board will discuss adding English language arts and math honors courses in sixth through 10th grades. According to the presentation attached to the work session agenda, CSD has a need for increased opportunities for more rigorous coursework and must change service models to continue offering gifted services in core content areas.

– During the regular meeting, the school board will vote on its 2024 legislative priorities, the employee ethics policy, the staff protection policy and the equity policy.

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