Tri-Village News

Douglass, Brannan will lead school board in 2014

Board changes meeting day to Thursday

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The Grandview Heights school board re-elected Grant Douglass as president and Debbie Brannan as vice president during its organizational meeting Jan. 14.

The board also voted to change the day when regular meetings will be held in 2014.

Regular board meetings now will be held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month in the Brotherhood of Rooks media center at Grandview Heights High School, 1587 W. Third Ave.

That means the board's next regular meeting will be held Feb. 20.

During last week's regular meeting, the board decided to keep the fee for all-day kindergarten at $330 per month next school year.

At that price, the district would need 47 students to sign up for the all-day program to break even, Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said.

"We feel comfortable" that number will be reached, he said.

In most years, the district has more than 47 students sign up for all-day kindergarten, Treasurer Tammy Rizzo said.

Yolande Berger, the Ohio Department of Education's Advanced Placement coordinator, attended the meeting to recognize Grandview for being one of 477 districts across the U.S. and Canada named to the College Board's fourth annual AP Honor Roll.

The honor recognizes districts that have increased their students' access to AP coursework while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams, Berger said.

"You are doing great work and it needs to be acknowledged," she said.

Also at the meeting, Katie Maxfield, the district's director of curriculum and professional development, updated the board on the work of a grading and assessment committee that has been meeting for about a year.

The committee's purpose is to develop grading and assessment guidelines that can be applied consistently across all grade levels, Maxfield said.

The committee is looking to develop guidelines, not policy, she said. The board already has a policy regarding grading systems, she said.

That policy states the board recognizes that any grading system has subjective elements and that there are fundamental principles that must guide instructors in assigning marks and achievement.

In answer to the "essential question" of what a grade represents, the committee's consensus is that a grade "reflects what a student has learned," Maxfield said.

That lines up with the board policy, she said.

The committee has come up with several "fundamental principles" that should serve as guidelines for district teachers, Maxfield said, including the essential point that grades are a measurement of learning.

The other principles are:

* Clear learning targets define and describe the learning that is to be measured.

* Assigning a zero as a grade is not valid.

* Teachers will always maintain the ability to include homework in a final grade, but the weight of homework on a final grade should be minimal.

* There may be circumstances when a student will need more than one opportunity to demonstrate understanding.

The committee is nearing the end of its work, Maxfield said. The next step will be to look at how the district can apply these fundamental principles and "make sure we are doing it with integrity."

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