Principals in the Kennewick School District will be required to give teachers in their buildings two chances to give feedback before switching to a new grading system.
The new requirement was part of several amendments approved Wednesday by the Kennewick School Board, the last step in making changes to the district's grading policy.
Principals still will have the final say when it comes to grading systems used in their buildings, but at least will have to involve teachers in the process.
"I think the objective here is to give a little more guidance," said board member Heather Kintzley.
Changes to the district's grading policy came after months of discussion by the board. Board members were motivated to make grading in the district more transparent and equitable and ensure students were learning class material.
Building-wide grading systems are permitted under the policy changes. However, teachers and parents at three of the district's four middle schools have criticized standards-based grading systems implemented at their schools by principals, sometimes with little teacher or parent input.
New policy language, drafted by board member Ben Messinger, will require principals to collect input from teachers on a building-wide grading system before crafting it. After the principal has designed the grading system, he or she then would have to get feedback from teachers before starting it.
Teri Staudinger, president of the Kennewick Education Association, said she and other teachers were happy with the language added to the policy, as it reaffirms the part of the union's contract for teachers and principals to make decisions together. Now it will be up to the principals to work with the teachers.
"It makes the year go so much easier," she said.
-- About 15 teachers and community members contacted about 10 of 52 former high school students last Saturday in an effort to get them to continue their education and graduate.
Called "We Want You Back," the outreach program is aimed at increasing graduation rates by getting students who dropped out of school, particularly those older than 18 but still young, to return to school, possibly at Columbia Basin College's High School Academy, which partners with the district.
District spokeswoman Lorraine Cooper, who organized the effort, said seven of the students already have contacted the academy and she and others are working on follow-up calls to students.
-- Ty Beaver: 582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org