Quitman ISD trustees voted Dec. 17 to move to a nine-week grading period for the 2019-2020 school year.
Both Superintendent Rhonda Turner and assistant Superintendent Angela Brown said conversations about transitioning from six to nine weeks have been ongoing for a year or two amongst the administration and teachers.
While surveying area school districts about grading periods, positive and negative responses arose, Brown told the school board.
Some of the advantages of nine weeks were more time to teach complex subjects, more time to assist struggling students, fewer summative assessments and a longer representation of student progress.
Disadvantages included the expectation of more material to be taught, two fewer report cards per year, and that fact that a nine-week grading period has greater impact on a semester grade than does a six-week period.
Brown noted the change adds more instructional time for kids, and it will not alter UIL eligibility.
“A lot of schools have gone to it (nine weeks) and it does not affect eligibility at all,” she said. Also, it takes away two days for entering grades that had been considered non-instruction time, she noted.
Going to a nine-week grading period will not affect GPA, according to Brown.
The proposal was brought to the board before discussions begin on the 2019-2020 district calendar.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the purchase of classroom door security devices in the amount of $16,517.50. Brian Mashburn and Michael Meeks of Konica Minolta demonstrated the door barricade, which is designed to be a countermeasure in an active shooter situation. The barriers are designed to deter an intruder but allow access to first responders.
In other business, trustees approved out-of-state travel for One Act Play students to go to Beavers Bend National Park in Oklahoma. Theatre director Kristina Johnson said the students will spend the weekend completing team building exercises.
Mike Taylor of Rutherford & Taylor presented the district’s 2018 financial audit, which was then approved.
Trustees approved the interlocal cooperation agreement for tax collection between QISD and Wood County from Sept. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019.
A budget amendment of $14,985 for the purchase of athletic supplies using the donation from Wood County Central Hospital District was approved as well.
The board held a public hearing to address Quitman’s score on the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report. QISD earned a superior rating and perfect score for its financial management.
Brown went over the plan for how the district hopes to improve writing scores while incorporating writing into other subjects. Earlier this semester, English teachers were trained with the Writing Academy on how to improve writing education.
Writing Academy will be brought back to Quitman in January and February for additional training. In August, English teachers will train other teachers on how to incorporate writing into other subjects.
According to the superintendent’s report, district enrollment stands at 1,142. In the facilities update, Turner said the parking lot near the Ag Barn is nearly complete.
Quitman Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization donated $978 to be used for QES Fab Friday purchases, including make tank, coding and robotics. The PTO also donated $2,000 earmarked for QES improvements at the discretion of the principal.
Quitman High School FFA students made a presentation. The Ag Advocacy team discussed the future of agricultural education and career fields. The two Quitman state FFA teams were also recognized for their accomplishments.