VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The plan to get rid of letter grades at any level gets a failing mark from Shannon McAbee, the mother of two Virginia Beach students.
"I think letter grades are important," McAbee said. "That's what I grew up with. [Students] need to be responsible for themselves. We need to show them yes, no, not in between."
The Virginia Beach elementary school division will implement a standards-based report card for all students next year, eliminating traditional letter grades.
Jeanne Crocker, the schools' lead director of elementary education, says the change is a result of teacher feedback for more grading consistency.
"There will still be overall letter grades in fourth and fifth grade," Crocker said. "What we're doing is removing letter grades on the third grade report card. Right now k thorough second grade students do not receive letter grades."
Report cards will show Advanced Proficient, Proficient, Developing Proficiency or Novice instead. This system will give students and parents more specific detail on each student's progress.
"For example in mathematics they will know if they're really good at addition and not so go so good at multiplication," Crocker said. "So the student will know, and the parent will know and have the ability to help the child."
The grading system has already been field tested at four schools, including Christopher Farms Elementary where Susan Moore's son is a student. Moore says she's satisfied with the grading system because it helps her know just where her son needs improvement.
"I'm not tied to the old letter grade system," she said. "I'm more excited they're trying something innovative and something new."
The plan goes district wide in the fall.
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