Home » District reviewing grading policy and how seniors are honored

District reviewing grading policy and how seniors are honored

Dear Waterville Central School District community,

As you may recall, in September, I sent out a ParentSquare message to families, staff and students asking for participation in a committee to help review the district’s grading policy (Policy 8101) to ensure it aligns with our commitment to provide a fair, equitable and supportive learning environment for our students.  

That committee, composed of district administrators, teacher leaders, teachers, a parent/guardian, and a student, has been examining the district’s grading practices including late work, use of zeros, grading calculations by marking period (including final exams/Regents scores), weighting for advanced courses (AP, dual-credit and honors),  student rank, and the recognition of graduating seniors. The committee and teachers assessed the district’s grading practices while applying the lens of the three pillars of grading as highlighted in the book, “Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Classrooms” by Joe Feldman. According to Feldman, grades must be accurate, bias-resistant and motivational.

Teachers provided input at Teacher Leader team meetings, faculty meetings and during Superintendent’s Conference Day professional development sessions.

These topics are important to all of us. We want the best for our students now, and we want to make sure they are in the best possible position to succeed in the future.

At the April 16 Waterville Board of Education meeting, the current recommendations were presented to the board. The presentation slides, including the recommendations, can be viewed online.

I recognize the long tradition and history of honoring the Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Top 10 of each graduating class. As part of the review, we are examining how we honor our seniors keeping our mission and vision at the forefront. Our vision centers us on creating the best futures possible for our students, and our mission dedicates us to educating the whole child for personalized success.

True to our mission, we want to hear from you.

The district will be holding focus groups with graduating seniors in mid-May to get their feedback on the recommendations. Additionally, the public will be invited to participate in a community-wide ThoughtExchange, which is an online forum to share thoughts and ideas with a one-question prompt. More information will be shared when available. There will also be opportunities to share feedback at board meetings during the public comment sections.

After the focus groups are conducted and the ThoughtExchange is complete, the recommendations and feedback will be brought to the board of education’s policy committee to determine whether to incorporate them into Policy 8101. The grading committee is hoping to have a recommendation to the policy committee for consideration in time for the 2024-25 school year. Any changes to district policy must be approved by the full board.

I want to emphasize this is still in the discussion and review phase. I know these topics are important to our students, their families and our community, which is why we want your feedback before any changes are officially proposed to the full board. The Waterville Central School District is made up of each of us, and we will take your feedback into consideration.


Dr. Jennifer Spring

Superintendent of Schools