Beaufort Co School District tests pilot grading system - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Pilot grading program in Beaufort County

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Beaufort County is testing out a new pilot program that's aimed at improving student learning throughout the entire school year.

Under Beaufort County's current system, students receive a grade at the end of every quarter.

At the end of the year, the four grades are averaged together for a final grade.

But the district may have found a better way of doing it, through a pilot program known as the 'year-long grading system.'

"In this system, the grade is live so whatever the student has in the grade book at that time is their grade and they continue to add to that grade," said Dr. Dereck Rhoads, Chief Instructional Services Officer for the Beaufort County School District.

The pilot program still assigns a quarter grade, which acts as a 'snapshot' of the student's performance, but there's also a final grade that tracks their progress throughout the year.

By doing this, students have another chance to improve on lessons they struggled with instead of starting over.

"Our goal is that by the end of the course, students have mastered the standards," said Rhoads.  

Beaufort Middle is one of three schools participating in the pilot program. The principal says the year-long grading system benefits teachers as well as students.

"The year-long grading means if a teacher doesn't get to something by the end of a quarter, it's really ok, the grades just continue. And so today is the end of one quarter, tomorrow's the beginning of another and we're still in the same unit," said Carole Ingram, Beaufort Middle School Principal.

The district says it's too soon to tell how much of a difference it makes.

But they believe, by the end of the year, the results will show an improvement in student learning.

Okatie Elementary and Whale Branch Early College High School are the other two schools participating in the pilot program.

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