By NATALIE MILLER
The voices of many Hanover parents have been heard—Hanover County Public Schools will officially adopt a 10-point grading scale. After years of on-and-off studies and parents advocating, the Hanover County School Board voted to do away with the current 7-point scale in favor of the scale proposed at their April meeting.
Vice Chair and representative for the South Anna District Sue Dibble made the motion to approve the proposed grading scale.
“We’ve identified some circumstances in which our students are possibly at a disadvantage when compared to other localities in the state and even in the nation,” Dibble said. “We as board members when we identify these issue, it’s also our responsibility to address them and to fix them.”
In her comments, Dibble said that to her knowledge changing to a 10-point scale would be budget-neutral, and would not represent a significant cost to the Board.
“There’s also no indication that a change in a grading scale is going o diminish the rigor in our classrooms,” Dibble continued. “We’re going to continue to be leaders in Hanover County in the field of education.”
Throughout the months of meetings and public comments surrounding the 10-point grading scale Norman Sulser, Board representative for the Cold Harbor District, has been vocal in supporting a switch to the 10-point scale.
“The passage of these two regulations is a major victory for our students as they can now compete on a level playing field to attend the college of their choice and attain college scholarships,” Sulser said.
The Board recognized that there will be a transition period for teachers and students to adjust to the new scale.
“There will be some work that teachers will have to do to adjust to the 10-point scale in terms of rubrics and that type of thing,” Bob Hundley said. “I would like us to be able to support our teachers with as much help in that area as we possibly can.”
Julie Stubblefield, a parent of two Hanover students and representative for the Hanover Parents Supporting the 10-point Scale group, said she was excited about the Board’s decision. Stubblefield and several Hanover parents consistently spoke during the public comment periods at meetings and remained in contact with Board members during the process.
“This goes to show when you can speak wisely and collaboratively and create a community behind any movement, great things can happen,” Stubblefield said after the meeting.
“[The School Board] was supportive of hearing our feedback and we are very appreciative of all of their time and effort,” Stubblefield continued.
In other news, the School Board passed a few contract updates and changes as part of their consent agenda approval.
Included in the motion was the extension of Superintendent Dr. Michael Gill’s contract for four more years.
“I’m humbled and honored, and glad to be a part of this community and glad to serve four more years,” Gill said.
Gill has served as the superintendent of Hanover County Public Schools since December 2015.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Mark Pasier will be retiring from his position with the school system this year. His replacement is Mandy Baker, who currently serves as Director of Human Resources at Henrico County Public Schools. Baker will begin her new position at the end of June.
Laurel Meadow Elementary School will have a new principal new year. Sandra Crowder, who currently serves as the Assistant Principal at Washington-Henry Elementary School, will officially become Laurel Meadow’s principal July 1.