A change from the Kennett Consolidated School District makes it clear that high school level courses at the middle school only reflect a student's GPA and not their credit load.

On Monday night, the KCSD board of school directors voted 6-0 to accept the first reading of the changes to the grading policy. Board members Heather Schaen, George Drake and Dominic Perigo were absent from the proceedings.

Superintendent Barry Tomasetti said that the administration wanted to make sure the policy reflected that clarification, with the policy in effect since 2005.

Tomasetti said that students at Kennett Middle School can opt to take high school level classes in lieu of the middle school level classes for credit towards their overall high school GPA.

They do not, however, count towards their high school credits regarding graduating requirements.

Tomasetti also said there were no changes to school board policy 213, which covers the distriict's entire grading system from weighted grades to class rank, other than to clarify that section.

Kennett High School principal Mike Barber said if that if the board decides to reopen the grading policy in general, it should be done by committee and with the cooperation of the administration - as it was in 2005.

He added that as principal, he was very comfortable with the policy as is, which was in place when Barber took over for Wes McDowell in 2007.

"If we start looking at counting them as middle school credit, then we must have a plan in place for students who exhaust opportunities at the high school in their fourth year," Barber said. "That is something we'd have to have discussions on before we go in and change the policy."

Barber said that KHS has extremely high credit requirements, much more than most other districts.

As a result of those standards, Barber said that often times incoming transfer students expecting senior status are sometimes placed in lower grades until they can catch up in their credits.

"Transfer students are held to same standard, if they're expecting to take seven credits and now need nine credits, they will be placed as juniors," Barber said. "We require four science and four social studies courses - other places do not."

Barber said that the guidance office worked with the sending district to match up courses as closely as possible and weight them accordingly. Sometimes, however, it doesn't always add up the way the student wants.

The board also approved the first reading of policy 214 regarding class rankings.

The policy outlines how seniors are ranked as "top five percent" in their class as opposed to individual numbered rankings.

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