Right before leaving school for December vacation, students and faculty noticed that letter grades on Home Access Center (HAC) were no longer rounding up; however, as of Friday, Jan. 9, the grading system returned to its traditional rounding settings.
In the past, a numerical average ending in .45 or higher that was on the brink of qualifying for the next letter grade would be rounded up. For example, if a student earned a numerical grade of 89.45 or higher, the letter grade would round up to an A- letter grade.
However, according to released Collaborative Team minutes, “An issue was identified last year that eSchool was rounding improperly.”
In an effort to clear up confusion, students received an email this afternoon from the Student Assembly and faculty advisor Gertrude Denton stating that eSchool was supposed to make these changes at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year but did not.
The email also mentioned that the student handbook was supposed to be adjusted to reflect this change, but that was not done.
The Staples staff received a separate email earlier this afternoon. This message, sent by Principal John Dodig and the Staples director of guidance, Elaine Schwartz, declared that HAC would return to the original, grade-rounding program. The letter also noted that no changes to first quarter grades would be made.
Reassured and relieved by this news, some students may be celebrating the return of the old rounding program. However, English teacher Brian Trippy pointed out that it is the numerical grade and not the letter grade that factors into a student’s transcript. When calculating a student’s final grade in a course, HAC averages the numerical grades from each quarter rather than the letter grades; therefore, if a student has an 89.45 in a course, it will be averaged the same whether it’s marked as a B+ or an A-.