FHS Implements No-Zero Initiative for the Remainder of the School Year


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The current grading scale requires students to receive a zero for missing assignments, the no-zero or minimum grading initiative at FHS allows students to receive a score no lower than 50 percent.

FHS implemented a no-zero initiative for the remainder of this year. Some other schools in Fauquier County have recently tried this strategy or are currently using it. “We’ve looked at a lot of studies and a lot of different things, but what we’re looking at doing is we’re trying to work with the kids that are struggling with virtual learning or hybrid learning and trying to even the playing field a little bit,” said Principal Kraig Kelican.
The current grading scale gives students a zero for missing or incomplete assignments. This means students must raise their grades to at least a 59.9 to receive a “D.” “So if a student misses three or four assignments and has zeros trying to pull themselves out of that hole makes it almost impossible. So what we’re doing is it doesn’t give you a passing grade but it starts you off at a 50,” said Kelican.
This initiative, also referred to as minimum grading, will not result in a policy change because it is not an official declaration from the school board for all Fauquier County Public School.
According to WTOP News, Fairfax County Public Schools implemented this strategy this year after running an internal report showing an 83 percent increase in students with at least two failing grades. Their policy outlines, “a 50 out of 100 will become the lowest score a student can get on an assignment, turning in work for major assignments late will only come with minimum penalties and no single assignment can be worth more than 20 percent of a student’s final grade,” according to WTOP News article by Mike Murillo.
Kelican looks at it “kind of like quality points for college. If you look at quality points it’s a one, two, three, four, and if you did the same thing here it equates out very similar.” Under the new initiative, if a student chooses not to complete any assignments they will receive a 50 which is “F” on the grading scale. “So I think it will be beneficial for the kids. I think students that just aren’t doing the work, at all, it’s not really going to affect them because I just don’t think they’re going to do the work. But the kids that are on that bubble, I think it’s going to help them and encourage them to do the work to get to the point where they’re not feeling hopeless,” said Kelican.