New Madrid County R-1 institutes weighted grading system for 2015-16 freshmen class

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NEW MADRID - The valedictorian of the class of 2020 could graduate with a grade point average higher than a 4.0 and the tougher classes to show the student as an academic leader.

The implementation of a weighted grade system was approved by the New Madrid County R-1 School Board during the February meeting. The program will begin with the freshmen class of the 2015-2016 school year.

Dr. Cynthia Sharp-Amick, superintendent, explained those students taking honor classes, college-level classes and higher level classes would receive additional points toward their grade point average.

"Kate Hampton did a lot of work of establishing pros and cons of a weighted grading system," Amick said. "She did a lot of research, talked to other schools and talked with teachers, students and parents to find out what people thought and to determine the list of classes that would be good to use for weighted grades."

According to Amick, those students taking college writing, college U.S. history, calculus, pre-calculus, chemistry II, anatomy and physiology, physics, college biology, college music appreciation and computer applications would receive an extra point when successfully completing each of those classes. A half point would be applied for students taking honors English, psychology, algebra, geometry and advanced placement classes.

Amick said the weighted class system is designed to encourage students to take the higher-level classes to increase their GPAs while they benefit from the challenges of taking harder classes. She acknowledged that in the past, some students might have taken a lighter course load in order to maintain a 4.0 GPA.

"We believe this is a great idea and we appreciate all the work Mrs. Hampton did on that," Amick added.

Approval was given for the implementation of a dance team at Central High School. Amick said a group of students approached the administration with the proposal. If there is sufficient interest among the students and a sponsor, the dance team would be implemented with the next school year.

During the meeting, Board members were introduced to the district's food services director, Tina Gantner with OPAA! Also the Board approved the OPAA! Food Service Management Amendment for the 2015--2016.

The superintendent said the amendment projects a very small increase in the budget for the coming school year.

School Board Action in Brief

Attendance and Enrollment:

Enrollment across the district is 1,411 students, **which is down by two students from this time last year. According to Dr. Cynthia Sharp-Amick, attendance continues to show improvement since the implementation of the district's new policy. With a goal of 90 percent of the students attending class 90 percent of the time, currently attendance is 89.02 percent compared to 88.23 percent at this time last year.


Members of the Community Teachers Association presented questions, concerns and suggestions. Lana Cole and two students from the Culinary Arts class presented some of the items baked as a class project and discussed the new program. Dennis Young and his class presented information on the new law enforcement program. Katherine Stanley presented updates on the graphic arts and screen printing classes and showed examples of shirts created by students.


Administrative staff evaluations were addressed and all staff rehired.

Resignations were accepted from Roy White, who works in maintenance, and Greg Hamm, New Madrid County Central High School golf coach.

The Board employed Col. Joe Dunn as the JROTC instructor; Jeff Ross as golf coach and Lisa Godwin as Middle School cheer coach.

Andrea Harris was transferred from fifth grade at New Madrid Elementary to child care with the Career Technical Skills Center.

Walk-Through Metal Detectors:

The walk-through metal detectors will be used at every Central activity entered from the North Lobby.

Board Tour: The Board Tour of buildings in the district is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. March 3.

Dates to Remember:

March Madness Concert, 7 p.m. March 12

High School Musical "Little Women," April 10 and 11

Missouri School Board Association, 6 p.m. April 20 at Malden

High School Prom, April 25

FFA Banquet, 6 p.m. April 21