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Local high schools will move to 10-point grading scale next year

The days of A+ grades for North Carolina public high school students are almost over.

Last week, the N.C. State Board of Education voted to abandon the seven-point grade scale in favor of a new 10-point scale across the state.

“This brings us more in line with what other school districts are doing,” said Eisa Cox, Rowan-Salisbury director of secondary education.

Currently, students earning a 93 to a 100 are awarded an A; 92 to 85 is a B; 84 to 77 is a C; 76 to 70 is a D and anything below a 70 is a failing grade. Under the new system, 100 to 90 is an A; 89 to 80 is a B; 79 to 70 is a C; 69 to 60 is a D and anything below 60 is a failing grade.

The new scale also eliminates plus and minus classifications to each letter grade, and teachers will be required to use the number rather than the letter associated with it.

“It removes the pluses and the minuses,” Cox said.

The board passed the 10-point scale for all incoming freshmen in October, but amended its decision to include all high school students last week.

Cox said local educators are glad to see that the scale will be consistent across class lines.

Many high school classes consist of mixed grade levels – especially elective classes. The updated policy ensures that all students with the same number grade will receive the same letter grade.

A new weighting system will also be put in place at the beginning of the school year, but will only impact incoming freshmen.

Grade point averages are based on a 4.0 scale and will continue to be, but honors classes will be weighted as a 4.5 instead of a 5, and Advanced Placement and academic community college credits would be worth 5 points instead of 6.

The state recommended applying the 10-point scale to elementary and middle schools as well.

The Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education will discuss these changes and the proposed elementary and middle school changes at its next meeting.

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