During a public work session, Hanover school board members heard from county residences about concern over changing the grading system.  Currently, Hanover works on a seven-point scale.  Many localities work on a ten-point scale.

What does this mean for changing the grading system?

Students who complete the same course work as their counterparts in Henrico, must earn a score of 93 or higher in Hanover in order to achieve an A.  The same course work only requires a score of 90 in Chesterfield or Richmond.  While two or three points may not mean must in terms of achievement, supporters of the change think that it crosses a barrier for college admittance.  If G.P.A. (grade point average) is a factor in college admittance, then there is a significant difference between scoring consistent 90s and 93s.

Who cares about the grading system?

Parents of graduating seniors are seeking to gain every advantage possible for their children’s acceptance into high ranking colleges.  The University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University, and William and Mary are difficult schools for freshmen admittance.  This is due to thousands of out-of-state applications.  People want to attend Virginia schools.

These schools, which have been mentioned, are state run schools.  But, close to half of their admittance is from out of state students.  Parents are concerned that the state may have a difficult time with ensuring their higher learning if students are not competing on an equal playing field.

What is the counter to changing the grading system?

John Axselle, chairman of the Hanover School Board, said that “this is not a community thing.”  Therefore, changing the grading system is not a concern.  Thus, in order for any changes to be made within the school systems, the entire community must work towards that endeavor.

If activists want change, at any level, they must recruit voices in the community.  If it does not matter to the community that Henrico, Chesterfield, and even Richmond are earning more acceptances into state-run colleges than Hanover, then everything should remain as it is.  On the contrary if residence of Hanover want to compete on a level playing field, according to John Axselle, they must stop school board members when they want “beans and weanies” in the grocery store.  They must speak to school board members on the topic.  They must call and email these members regularly, according to Chairman Axselle.

In other words, residents must act.  There is not a clearer explanation on this topic.  Some people may wonder, “why have a board if it only does what the community wants?”  Others may may demand a board that, “serves the student and teacher needs first?”  If you have an opinion on the topic, contact your area board member.  They love to hear from the people that matter:  which are you!

Contact Board members about the grading system issue

Hanover County Board members in Virginia have their email and telephones numbers listed on the website.  Just go to http://www.hcps.us to find them.  Like/ Share/ Post/ Call/ or do nothing.  That is your freedom of choice.

John F. Axselle III, Beaverdam District
– Chairman
Phone:  798-7782; e-mail: SB-jaxselle@hcps.us
Susan (Sue) P. Dibble
, South Anna District          – Vice Chair
Phone: 752-6866; e-mail: SB-sdibble@hcps.us 
Marla G. Coleman,
Henry District 
Phone: 746-2650; e-mail: SB-mcoleman@hcps.us
Ola Hawkins, Ashland District 
Phone: 357-3743; e-mail: SB-ohawkins@hcps.us
Norman K. Sulser, Cold Harbor District
Phone:  746-0331; e-mail: SB-nsulser@hcps.us

Robert L. Hundley, Jr., ChickahominyDistrict      
Work:    550-9222
Home:   730-3415; e-mail: SB-rhundley@hcps.us

Roger S. Bourassa, Mechanicsville District    
Phone:  559-8113; e-mail: SB-rbourassa@hcps.us