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Penn Yan considers weighted grading

PENN YAN--The school board listened to a presentation from high school Principal David Pullen about his recommendation to adopt a weighted grading system for the Academy at last week's school board meeting.
Pullen's proposed main points included:
• The school board recognizes that certain commencement level courses are of advanced rigor and require additional effort and time from a student. As a result, a system of weighted grades could be utilized to encourage student participation taking the advanced courses.
• Pullen said currently Penn Yan Academy students, beginning with and including June 2020, graduates could have their courses retroactively weighted based on the following criteria:
Commencement level courses, including Regents courses: 1.00; Honors and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses: 5 points added to the final course average, although a student's final course average cannot exceed 100; Advanced Placement (AP) and Gemini courses: 5 points added to the final course average, although a student's final course average cannot exceed 100.
Pullen said the classification of courses will be determined by the high school principal and will be outlined in the course offering book published by the school's counseling department each year.
Pullen's proposal said the weighting of grades will only be reflected in the cumulative grade point average and class rank calculations as reported on student's transcripts, not in course (quarter) grades of final course averages as reported on interim reports or report cards provided to students and parents or guardians throughout the school year. Pullen noted, class rank shall be determined using weighted grades.
Pullen also pointed out that some scholarship organizations, colleges, athletic organizations and military programs require the submission of unweighted grades. Because of this, the Penn Yan Academy plans to report both unweighted and weighted GPAs on student transcripts.
After Pullen's comments, Superintendent Howard Dennis asked board members for any input or questions and said Pullen's recommendation will be converted into a formal document for the school board to further review.

In other school board business:
• Lester Roberts gave an update on the school's capital project. Roberts said the majority of the construction has been completed and the different projects are on track as scheduled.
• Chris Wickham and Aaron Murphy updated board members on the chromebook laptops that will be provided for all high school students starting this fall. Staffers are working with the laptops now and will be on track to distribute the computers to students the second day of school. Students will be able to use their laptops in school and also take them outside school for homework. Both Wickham and Murphy said the laptops will encourage innovative learning with students and staff.
• Howard Dennis introduced Keary Pender as the new assistant principal for the elementary school. Pender was previously with the Webster Central School District and Monroe BOCES 2. Pender said she has family roots in Penn Yan and is excited to be in the community and looks forward to meeting students and staff members.
The public meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m. and the board voted to move into an executive session.

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