Change suggested for Madison-Plains grades


(Posted Sept. 16, 2015)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

Madison-Plains Local Schools’ grade cards could take on a new look, depending on action taken by the school board.

Currently, Madison-Plains grade cards have just letter grades, A through F. An A carries a weight of four points, a B three points, down to an F which has no points. An A is given for work that grades out 90 to 100; a B for work of 80 to 89, and so on down to anything below a 59 is an F.

At the Sept. 15 board meeting, Superintendent Tim Dettwiller proposed a change in which grades of 93 to 100 would be an A and worth four points; 90 to 92 would be an A- and worth 3.66 points; 88 to 89 would be a B+ and worth 3.33; 83 to 87 would be a B and worth 3 points; and so on down to 59 and below would be an F and worth no points.

The benefits of a such a scale, Dettwiller said, is that students would be able to monitor their grade point average (GPA) when the grade cards come out after every nine weeks. Currently, the points are not made available until the end of the year.

The board will have the final say, which will be done at a special meeting Oct. 13, the Tuesday before the end of the first nine-week grading period. Any changes must be made then to be effective for this year. The first nine-week grading period ends Oct. 19, and grade cards will be made available Oct. 26.

Staff dress code

Dettwiller presented the board with a first draft of a dress code for all employees of the campus. “It’s what’s appropriate for what’s on the day’s agenda,” Dettwiller said.

The proposal also addresses what is appropriate footwear, which prompted school board member Dave Hunter to remark that tennis shoes are appropriate for some of his work.

Board members approved the first reading of the dress code which now goes to the staff for feedback. The question will come up for a second reading at the next regular school board meeting.

“If you’re not happy with it, you can always table it and work on it further,” Dettwiller told the board.

Questions about a bus driver

District parent Tiphany Kennedy-Chaffin complained about what she considered erratic driving by a bus driver.

Kennedy-Chaffin said her 8-year-old son was on the bus and has been scared by the driver’s actions to the point he doesn’t want to go to school.

The parent said she videoed the driver and showed the footage to Dettwiller. She also shared her complaint with school board members.

Dettwiller said he counseled the driver, an 87-year-old woman whom he called “spry” and who “puts in her own garden.”

He said the driver has been employed with the district for 46 years and has driven a bus for 39 of those years with only one violation, a stop sign violation in 2001.

“She’s passed all the training and all the annual physicals,” he said.

Bus drivers are certified and recertified every six years “and she has passed them all,” Dettwiller said.

“If the state says she can drive, I say she can drive,” he added.

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