A new approach to an old system

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Traditional grade books get a 21st century upgrade

By Kirsten Laskey

The old grade book is being tossed out at the elementary schools in the Los Alamos Public Schools district.

What is taking the place of the former excel spreadsheets is an electronic grade book system called Pinnacle. Just as many students anxiously wait for report cards to see what grades will be revealed, teachers and administrators are working and training to discover what Pinnacle will produce for them.

It’s been a lengthy process – one that started during the 2007-2008 school year when all elementary school teachers were given Robert Marzano’s book titled, “Classroom Assessment and Grading that Works.”  

Work continued last year with monthly report card committee meetings, presentations and a grade meeting held. This year, there has been an online survey conducted, an open invitation was extended to all teachers to discuss and ask questions about Pinnacle and another community meeting held.  

Pinnacle is not an easy thing to sink your teeth into, and LAPS administrators are committed to having all teachers easily digest the new grading system. It will be a two-year process, Assistant Superintendent Kate Thomas said.  

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