Nine-Week Grading Period

Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CUMBERLAND – The administration at Cumberland County Public Schools recently proposed the idea of switching to a nine-week grading period to the County's new School Board.

Currently, the three Cumberland schools operate on a six-week grading system and, according to the proposition, the change would allow additional instructional time between testing. Teachers on the Superintendent's Advisory Committee first tossed around the proposal to change the grading period and Middle School Principal Mark Mabey was charged with the task of presenting the idea to the School Board.

“We believe moving to nine-weeks will reduce the time spent on 'high-stake' testing,” offered Mabey to the Board, “reduce the time teachers are spending creating tests, and reduce the time spent preparing report cards, hence creating more instructional time.”

Email newsletter signup

Mabey also noted that most of the Region 8 schools already adhere to a nine-week grading schedule and that the switch would bring Cumberland “more inline with the Region.”

“We identified that a nine-week grading period is closer to a college style schedule with mid-terms and finals,” he continued. “We feel this will help all students in their efforts to be college-ready.”

Before making a final decision, the school's administration and School Board members are looking for information from teachers, students, and parents about the proposed nine-week grading period.

To provide input, a survey can be found by visiting the following link and taking the provided online survey at The information will be gathered by the school division and considered before a final decision is made, according to the presentation.

Also, the current 2012-2013 school calendar is currently being developed based on a nine-week grading schedule. However, the administration and School Board, according to Dr. Griffin, want to hear from “stakeholders” before the final decision is made in March.

The School Board is set to vote on the proposed nine-week grading schedule during its March regular meeting.

School Board Gets Organized

During the organizational segment of the Board's first meeting of the year, Ginger Sanderson was elected as Chair to lead the School Board this year and George Reid Jr. was elected as the Board's Vice Chairman.

Elizabeth Jamerson will also continue serving as the School Board's clerk and the position of Deputy Clerk will go to Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Chip Jones.

The School Board approved yearly appointments.

Jones will serve as the superintendent designee, the safety officer and hazard materials designee, and the insurance management; Ms. Jamerson will also serve as the superintendent designee, the Title IX and Section 504 Compliance Office, and the copyright designee. William Brandt will serve as the USDA designee.

School Board appointments made during the meeting include Sanderson being the CIP Committee representative. Reid will also be the Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) voting delegate and Sanderson will also serve as the VSBA alternate voting delegate.

Reid will continue to serve as the Governor's School Board representative and George Lee Dowdy III will be the VSBA insurance voting representative.

The Board also decided to continue with its meeting schedule. The Board will meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. and enter into closed session when needed before at 6 p.m.