Monett High School is embarking on its second year of new grading policies.
"Our graduation rate is the highest that it has ever been at 92 percent," said MHS Principal David Steward. "I attribute it to the new program being critical to keeping hope alive for the students."
The bulk of the policy has remained the same this year with some minor changes. One of the changes is that in order for a student to take a reassessment, the student will have to do a tutoring session or they will have to verify to the teacher that they have done all of the practice and all of the preparation for that particular assessment. The decision is at the teacher's discretion as to what is best for the student.
A report for the 2010-11 Monett High School academic year showed semester grades have improved by cutting the number of F's in half, from 435 to 200. The number of A's achieved, which with the new policy are harder to get, went up approximately 200. The end of course exams scores in almost every subject also increased.
"What my message has been to teachers is that it is about the learning, not the letter," said Steward.
Under the old traditional system, grades were based on a total point accumulation.
"The old system was very effective at measuring the responsibility of a student, because those students always got a good grade," said Monett Superintendent John Jungmann. "They may not have known the material or mastered it, but they got a good grade because they were responsible. Now, we want to reward responsibility, but that is not what the grade should represent.
"The grade should represent their academic performance and that is why we had to get our mindset out of homework, because homework does not measure their final learning," said Jungmann. "That is what the assesment is for. Homework is the practice, a