Education news

The Polk County Board of Education approved some minor updates to the high schools' retesting policy, and the language was changed to make it more specific as to what will be allowed for students and what won’t.

Highlighted in the document is the portion that states those who choose not to use the policy for either quarter will find their lowest test grade dropped at the end of the semester.

“A pilot program that we tried worked out, and it went over well so we decided to implement the policy for both high schools this year,” Superintendent Laurie Atkins said.

So, those who score well on all of their tests and don't need to retake can still benefit from the rule.

The rest of the policy was left unchanged.

“Nothing has changed except that it allows kids to take retake 1 retest per subject, per quarter as it was in the 2017-18 school year,” Atkins said. “We see this as an encouragement for the kids to do their very best the first time and not have need to retest in any specific subject.”

Those students in high school who retest can earn full credit on the exam. No final exams or benchmarks can be retaken.

If close to half or more of the class fails, the material is to be retaught and the test administered again for full credit.

Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment students are able to use the policy only at their teachers discretion.

“We're updating the portion at the end to change the name from 'Move on When Ready' to 'Dual Enrollment' because the state has gone back to 'Dual Enrollment,'" Atkins said. "And just clarifying some of the pieces for retesting throughout the year. It needed to be a little more specific.”

She added the update to the policy during the 2017-18 school year provided the needed emphasis to ensure students weren’t abusing the policy to their benefit.

“Our students are actually trying to study and do their best the first time,” Atkins said.

Editor Kevin Myrick and SJ Correspondent Sean Williams contributed to this report.