December 13, 2016

Elementary school transitions to 4-3-2-1 grade system

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Winds of change are blowing in Watford City schools.
Kindergarten through third grade are now on a standards-based grading scale of 4-3-2-1, having made the transition this school year from letter grades of A-B-C-D-F.
Kindergarteners have been on the numbers-based system for some time before now, said Steve Holen, McKenzie County School District No. 1 superintendent. Moving forward, communication with students and parents is key as the district gradually moves the 4-3-2-1 scale up through grade levels.
“Just seeing a B didn’t tell you a whole lot before,” Holen said, adding that the new grading system provides “a more clear understanding of the students’ ability to achieve certain standards and goals at their grade level.
“Four is above their grade level, 3 is they’re at grade level, 2 is that they’re not quite there yet and 1 is they need substantial work to get to that grade level,” Holen said, adding a combination of teacher’s assessments, homework and some standardized tests help determine a student’s particular grade.

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