The Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent announced Tuesday night the end of an unofficial policy that allowed grade changing for high school students who fail courses. That practice will be eliminated.
The district allowed teachers and administrators to give D's to students who failed a class but passed the corresponding end-of-instruction exams, which are state-mandated tests high school seniors must pass to graduate.
“That won't be an option for the 2012-13 school year and beyond,” Superintendent Karl Springer told the school board. “We want to make it clear that we have high expectations for our students.”
Earlier this month, the school board was set to hear a proposal to formalize the process, but the presentation was yanked at the last minute. The board went on to discuss it at the end of the meeting, a violation of the state Open Meeting Act.
Grading practices are decided by local district officials, according to the state Education Department. Some Oklahoma school districts allow for grade changes based on end-of-instruction tests.
Dress code update
The board also changed a newly approved districtwide dress code.
The change limits each school to a maximum of three uniform shirt colors, one of which must be white. The previous policy did not set a limit on the number of allowable colors at each school. The update also specifies that the colors are determined by building administrators.
District 3 Board Member Phil Horning said he disagrees with the policy.
“I continue to believe it is a serious mistake not to trust the principal, the faculty, the parents of individual schools to determine if they need a uniform policy. ... I don't think it's wise,” he said.
The board voted to sell the old Gatewood Academy, 721 W Britton. The property will be sold to JAB Consulting for $110,000.
After previously rejecting the request, the board approved an application for Harper Academy. The alternative charter school will serve high-risk students, such as dropouts and pregnant teens.
The board approved several change orders for elementary schools undergoing construction. One was a $95,000 increase in cost for Parmalee Elementary, 6700 S Hudson. The bulk was for removing asbestos, which was discovered in the boiler rooms and underneath floor tiles. Another change was $31,000 to move the gym at West Nichols Hills Elementary, 8400 N Greystone. The gym will be moved 14 feet to the west of the original spot “to comply with community request.”
Assistant Principal Lori Marshall of Parks Elementary resigned because of health reasons.
Plans were finalized for renovation of two stadiums. Improvements are expected to cost $8 million for Taft Stadium, 2901 NW 23, and $7.5 million for Speegle Stadium, 510 SW Grand.
Plans also were finalized for the construction of classrooms and gyms at Adams Elementary, 3416 SW 37; Bodine Elementary, 5301 S Bryant; Horace Mann Elementary, 1105 NW 24; and Kaiser Elementary, 3101 N Lyon. The $7.4 million project can now be put out to bid.