The Adair County School District will explore an alternative grading system over the next couple of years.
The school district is researching a program mirroring the alternative grading system used by the Taylor County School District where students work at their own pace and aren’t restricted to chronological grade orders.
The grading system would get rid of the traditional letter grading system and allow students to master a subject level and move on instead of waiting for the next school year.
Taylor County School District Superintendent Roger Cook spoke to the board about how his district started the program.
“It has nothing to do with their chronological age,” Cook said. “We have 5th graders taking Algebra 1 for high school credit.”
Cook said the traditional grading system holds some students back from exploring their potential.
“All you are doing is creating discipline problems and you are boring kids,” Cook said.
Cook started the program in Taylor County gradually, incorporating the grading system into the district one step at a time. Cook said he also ran into situations where people didn’t believe the system would work, but he didn’t let the opposition hinder him.
“If you are going to listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ who don’t want to change, you might as well close the doors,” Cook said.
Taylor County has also incorporated early release days where school is dismissed at 1 p.m. and students have a choice of either staying at school for tutoring programs and teachers can use the time as professional development.
Cook said the district would run into problems with parents not being able to be there for students when they got home from early release days.
“Well good, let us babysit them,” Cook said. “We will tutor them.”
Cook said parents would know the schedule ahead of time and could be prepared.
The Adair County School District submitted an innovative calendar to the Kentucky Department of Education for approval, which includes the early release days.
The new grading system and calendar were part of changes brought in by the ‘Race to the Top’ regulations the district will implement over the next four years.
Superintendent Alan Reed said the administrative staff sent out all of the letters involving staff reductions in relation to the reconfiguration of the schools and the closing of Col. Wm. Casey and John Adair Intermediate School.
“It has been a very difficult time for all of them,” Reed said.
Reed and others have worked for the past three months to determine where teachers at the elementary level will be placed next year with the Adair Primary Center and Adair County Elementary School. More than 100 certified staff and 61 classified staff were reassigned.
“It’s been tough on all of us,” Reed said.
• Reed said the bell from the Columbia High School would be placed in the new elementary school.
• The Adair County School District’s transportation department was honored at a meeting with the Kentucky Department of Education as being one of the top schools in transportation.
• Cassie Davenport volunteered to donate a metal sculpture for the new school.
• Campbellsville University awarded excellence in teaching awards to Tiffany Mitchum, Bart Hadley and Wes Irvin.
• The board congratulated the ACMS cheerleading team on their win at the national cheerleading competition last month.
• Brenda Mann, assistant superintendent of student services, presented the board with an amended school calendar with school ending on May 20. Mann also presented the board with an alternative school calendar for the upcoming year with school beginning on Aug. 14 and ending on May 16.
• Personnel action includes employment of Gabrielle Northrup as a bus monitor.
Board members Mike Harris, Quinn Lasley, Floyd Burton, Joseph Payne and Greg Willis were all present. The board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the central office.
By Allison Cross