PEPPER PIKE — Orange High School Principal Paul Lucas is proposing changes to the school’s grading policy, including adding a percentage grade to report cards and adjusting the quality points system.

The changes likely won’t happen for a year.

Dr. Lucas said that he sought feedback from all department heads and faculty members at the high school to figure out how to reflect an accurate grade for parents to see on their child’s report card.

“We want to make grading more authentic, so when parents see a grade on the report card, instead of just the letter we also want a percentage grade,” he said.

Superintendent Lynn Campbell added that only the grade on the report card would include a percentage and a letter grade; the transcript would remain only a letter grade.

“We’re not looking to change the grade system on the transcript,” Dr. Lucas said.

On the survey, Dr. Lucas said that more than 92 percent of faculty respondents said that they would like to add a percentage grade, and 96.1 percent of respondents said that a percentage grade gives a more accurate indication of the student’s performance in the class.

“We’re the only school in our consortium besides Berkshire that does it this way,” Dr. Lucas added. “Solon currently does this but they’re switching over to percentages.”

He stressed that this potential change would only affect how grades are shown on the report card, but would not actually affect grades.

Dr. Lucas also stated that the high school may stop weighting a D and an F in honors and AP courses. The system is based on quality points, which reward students a certain number of points depending on the type of class and the grade that the student earns in the class. For example, Dr. Lucas said that an A in an advanced placement class is worth a 5.0, while the same grade in an honors or college preparatory class earns the student 4.5 points and 4.0 points, respectively.

“Why are we rewarding failure?” he asked. “In this system, you get a 1.0 for an F in an AP class. We’re like the only school that weights for everything.”

By adjusting the quality points system, Dr. Lucas said that if a student has a rough semester and fails multiple classes, it will be more difficult to recover. He said that the high school has intervention methods in place to help students get back on track.

He said that it will not be a dramatic change to stop weighting D’s and F’s in AP and honors courses because Orange has few students who perform poorly in those courses.

“There won’t be a huge impact,” he said.

Board of Education Vice President Deborah Kamat asked if parents would receive advanced notice of the change, and Dr. Lucas said that the high school may wait a year before implementing this change to give parents advance notice. Board President Beth Wilson-Fish agreed that the school should wait a year before changing the grading policy.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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