SIDNEY — Two pages in the Sidney High School student handbook came under scrutiny during Monday’s Sidney City Schools Board of Education meeting. The pages deal with the grade point averages of the students and the naming of the top 10 students for the year.
The top 10 students are calculated on the high school grades at the midpoint of the fourth quarter of the students’s senior year. Students who attend classes at Edison Community College didn’t have their grades figured into the equation because the college is on semesters and doesn’t post midterm grades.
“Those grades are not released until after our school year,” said Superintendent John Scheu.
One student, said Scheu, would be ranked at No. 2 if Edison grades were included. Without the Edison grades, the student drops to No. 12 or 13 in the class.
The Rev. Alan Leach, whose daughter is affected by the policy, spoke about the grades. He said he had given the Sidney High School counselor permission to access his daughter’s grades at Edison so she can be included in the top 10 students.
SHS Principal John Geuy said he had looked at the grades on Monday and Edison didn’t post letter grades on the student’s record.
“We don’t know what letter grade the professor uses,” said Geuy. “We have no input on the grade skill and rigor of the class. They have more of a handle on our curriculum than we have on theirs.”
The state of Ohio, said Geuy, is making the college classes a “weighted” grade for students enrolled in college.
Board member Bob Smith said the entire situation is not fair to the student who is taking classes at Edison while still in high school.
“This means something to them (top 10) and for them to be honored as such,” said Smith. “In June (after Edison grades are entered), she will be in the top 10. It doesn’t feel right to correct it after the fact.”
May 12, said Leach, is when the awards ceremony for SHS will be held. At that time, the top 10 students will be recognized.
“My daughter will receive an associate degree when she graduates (from Edison in May),” he said. “All of her credits will transfer to the private college she will be attending.”
“The bottom line,” said Geuy, “is this the policy that was adopted by Sidney City Schools. The college plus classes weren’t posted as weighted grades.”
“We need to make this happen,” said Smith.
“That’s the decision of the board,” said Geuy. “If they say do it, we’ll make it happen.”
“It’s a matter of fairness,” said Geuy. “Our students are spending time at Edison and are succeeding. They are the top notch students. If we have the ability to verify what their Edison midterm grade is, we need to plug it in.”
Geuy said there are 50 SHS students attending classes at Edison.
Scheu said he talked with officials at Edison and they recommended SHS create a form for the students to take to their professors, who will then put a letter grade on the form.
“It’s a fairness issue,” said board President Bill Ankney. “We need to correct it when we get to to it instead of at the end of the year. The hard work of these students should be rewarded. We need to solve it for the long run.”
Board member Paul Heins said he brought the issue up a year ago when weighted grades were being discussed.
“It’s a matter of fairness,” said Heins. “We need to look at the policy and have the form to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Scheu said letters have been sent out to the top 10 students.
“So it’s the consensus of the board to recognize the student,” said Scheu. “It’s not their fault the grades from Edison are not figured in. We do not want to penalize or punish these students.”
With the Edison grades figured in, said Scheu, there might be more than the top 10 students recognized this year.
A presentation about the alternative classroom for students in grades 1-3, which is now located at Northwood Elementary School, was given by Principal Eric Barr and Justin Setliff, intervention specialist.
Prior to this school year, the students were at the Sidney Alternative School, said Barr. Setliff heads up the program at Northwood.
There are four students in the alternative classroom, said Setliff. There are also three students in the classroom on a halftime basis.
The classroom, said Setliff, can provide one-on-one guidance with the students, who meet with the guidance counselor once a week. The group meets with the guidance counselor once a week also. Shelby County Counseling meets with the students once a week.
Setliff said they focus on positive behaviors in the class. There’s a consistent approach and students are held accountable for their actions.
“The improvement since the beginning of the year is drastic,” said Setliff. “One student now thinks about the consequences before he does something.”
The reading of the students is also improving. At the beginning of the year, a first-grader in the classroom could read seven words in a minute, now he can read 50 words.
“Other students in the school might need behavioral support,” said Barr. “Justin can help with that.
“I was nervous in the beginning about bringing in an alternative classroom,” said Barr. “Justin has done a great job.”