Information Available on New Grading Policy

November 20, 2003
An extensive communication campaign has been initiated by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to inform all members of the community about the current status and future possibilities related to implementing the pending policy on grading and reporting.

The campaign responds to a Board of Education directive to develop a multiyear, phased-in plan for implementing revised Policy IKA, Grading and Reporting, originally approved in March 2003. In September 2003 the Board postponed implementation of this revised policy until July 2004, placing the system under the governance of the preexisting policy and related regulation for the current school year.

Information about implementation of the revised policy is being provided on the Web at Other forms of communication include community meetings, school system meetings, school newsletters, local newspapers and radio stations, live call-in shows, cablecasts, and videos distributed to schools.

In addition, three multi-stakeholder committees have been convened: advisory, development and implementation. Each seeks input from the other committees and from MCPS constituencies. Schedules, meeting locations, agendas, minutes, and rosters are posted on the Grading and Reporting Web site. Interested individuals are invited to attend these meetings.

The implementation committee will develop the plan for phasing in the implementation of the pending 2003 policy. Members' contact information is posted on the web site. The group meets twice monthly, from 6-8 p.m., through January 2004. The implementation plan will show how grading and reporting practices align with:

§ curriculum revision,
§ development of new report card(s),
§ procedures for students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency,
§ staff development, and
§ parent and student information and outreach.

The development committee is charged with creating a standards-based reporting system that will be rolled out year by year. The committee also will develop documents for reporting the nonacademic indicators, or lifelong learning skills that are strongly associated with achievement, such as effort and participation. This committee meets two full days a month and will continue to meet until all documents are developed, over the multiyear implementation.

The advisory committee, convened this spring, is charged with providing feedback to the development and implementation committees. The advisory committee meets once a month, alternating times - 4-6 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. - and will continue to meet through the multiyear implementation.

Additional groups are forming within the community in response to specific interests related to implementation of the new policy. For example, MCCPTA has established a special needs ad hoc group that communicates and shares membership with the three system committees. Members of the community who are interested in forming a new group and coordinating efforts with other groups and/or with the three committees are encouraged to contact the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 301-279-3350.

Individuals or organizations seeking more information or wishing to provide input about the grading and reporting policy implementation may visit the Web site. Staff members also are available to meet with organizations on the topic. Submit requests to the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at 301-279-3350 or use the feedback tool on the Web site.

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