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BREA : Board Expected to OK Grade-Changing Restrictions

October 07, 1994|MIMI KO

Brea Olinda Unified School District board members this month are expected to approve a policy prohibiting any district employee or trustee from changing a student's grade without a written or verbal explanation from a teacher.

The rule already is part of the state education code, but district officials said it needs to be specifically stated as school board policy in light of the grade-changing scandal in the district. The controversy involved the changing of hundreds of student transcripts without teacher approval.

The new school board policy would become "an official document of the board," Assistant Supt. Peter J. Boothroyd said.

It will ensure that "nobody will change grades," school board President Susie D. Sokol said.

In addition to the strict grade-changing rule, the policy also lays out in general the district's philosophy behind grading. Teachers, counselors and administrators must communicate with parents, both verbally and in writing, their expectations for their pupils. And when a student is in danger of failing a course, the school staff must document all attempts to contact parents.

In addition, grades will be determined only by teachers, and those grades will be final.

The transcript tampering came to light when a former math teacher filed a grievance with the teachers' union in May upon discovering that one of her students' grades had been altered without her permission.

An auditor hired by the district revealed in August that hundreds of students had letter grades illegally changed to "pass" notations or had received double credit when they repeated a course to improve their grades.

A separate investigation to determine who is responsible for the grade changes is being conducted by an attorney for the Orange County Department of Education and is expected to be completed next week.

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