District Implements Grading Scale, Class Rank Changes

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District Implements Grading Scale, Class Rank Changes

Donovan Nichols, News Editor

Katy ISD has instituted multiple changes to the high school grading scale and the reporting of class rank, most notably removing the D letter grade and adjusting the letter grade scale for all current and future classes. Deputy Superintendent Leslie Haack detailed the changes in an email sent to parents and faculty members.

“Over the past few years, other school districts have eliminated the “D” letter grade in their grading systems,” Haack said. “This school year, Katy ISD has removed the “D” from our grading scales. This allows Katy ISD students to be competitive with students from districts that do not include D’s in their grading scale. This change will benefit students when applying to colleges and universities, as well as scholarship organizations that convert the 100-point scale to a 4.0 scale.”

The D letter grade, which marked an average ranging from 70-74, will be replaced with a C- that fills the same range for all current sophomores, juniors, and seniors. For current freshmen and future classes, the C will fill the gap entirely, encompassing averages ranging from 70-79.

“Semester averages between 70-79 may be converted to a value of “2” by colleges and universities that utilize the grading scale for admissions and scholarship opportunities,” Haack said. “It is important to note that the removal of the “D” letter grade does not lower Katy ISD’s grading standards. A student will still need a 70 or above to earn a passing grade and credit for the course, in accordance with Board Policy EI (LEGAL).”

Additionally, for all sophomores and below, HCC Dual Credit courses will increase by 0.5 credits on the GPA scale. An A will be a 4.5, a B a 3.5, and a C a 2.5. For sophomores, who will still have the C- letter grade, a C- will be a 1.5. Class rank will also be reported differently to all current juniors and beyond. Students in the top ten percent of their class will receive their class rank in the spring of their junior year. All other juniors not in the top ten percent will receive a quartile rank at the same time. KatyISD said in a post on the district website that this change will have no “adverse effects” on students below the top ten percent, as quartile ranking is consistent with the majority of Texas state public college admission policies. Transcripts will also only have a quartile rank for students not in the top ten percent.

“We’ve found over time that labeling all students with an exact rank feeds a culture of unhealthy competition, stress and pressure,” Dr. Christine Caskey said.  “The quartile ranking is beneficial to both the students and the campuses as it acknowledges success, while also allowing more latitude and anonymity within the parameters of each quartile.”

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