By RACHEL COLEMAN
• Leader & Times
Following more than a month of public comment and board discussion about a competency-based grading program at Liberal High School, USD No. 480 has scheduled a work session for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Education Service Center, 624 N. Grant.
The meeting, devoted solely to the grading system, is open to the public. Parent Mellissa Brenneman hopes to see a large turnout of community members at the meeting.
“I asked the board and administration to do a good job of publicizing the meeting in advance so that people will know about it and come to participate,” she said.
Brenneman took both the board and administration to task at the last regular board meeting Sept. 23. In a short presentation, Brenneman said she believed district policy had been broken when the new grading system was introduced at LHS during the second semester of the 2012-13 year.
“It is your responsibility to follow district policy, and to see that your administration does, too,” she told the board.
A parent of an LHS student, Brenneman said she is not the only parent concerned about the policy. Board member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott has also voiced reservations about a grading system she says will make students lazy by not calculating homework performance as part of the final grade earned. Both contend that experienced teachers don’t want to use competency-based grading but are too intimidated by administrators to say so publicly.
“I want the meeting to be open, where teachers and parents and the public can speak openly and be comfortable,” Sutherland-Abbott said at the Sept. 23 meeting.
USD 480 officials released the meeting time, date and agenda Thursday afternoon in a fax to the Leader & Times.