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Washington County Public Schools expected to reduce number of marking periods

January 24, 2013

The number of marking periods for Washington County Public Schools middle and high schools is expected to change from six to four in the next school year, pending Board of Education approval, according to Rick Akers, director of secondary education and student services.

The Board of Education unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed policy change during its Jan. 15 meeting, according to a video of the meeting.

The school board is expected to vote on a second reading of the policy change at its Feb. 5 meeting, according to an email from Deputy Schools Superintendent Boyd Michael.

The proposed change would result in all elementary, middle and high schools being on a four marking period schedule, Akers told the board.

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The change would allow more assignments and test grades to be considered in calculating grades because each marking period would be nine weeks rather than six weeks, he said.

Students would have more time to improve their grades after receiving their interim reports, halfway through each marking period, he said.

Amanda Krehbiel, the student representative on the school board, asked why the school system had switched to six marking periods.

Akers said that change was made when most high schools had moved to a semester schedule. Having six marking periods per school year gave students three marking periods rather than two for their semesterlong core courses and provided students more chances to improve their grades.

In recent years, the school system has offered more yearlong courses, including ones assessed by the state and Advanced Placement courses, Akers said.

— Julie E. Greene

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