Change to Grades with Decimal Places

On the left side is the first semester, with a rounded grade, but in the second semester, it changed to decimal grades.

Steven Tangney

On the left side is the first semester, with a rounded grade, but in the second semester, it changed to decimal grades.

For many years when you would look at your grades in Powerschool, you would see whole numbers like a 93. However, starting this semester, you now see decimal points. For example, instead of having a 93, you could see 92.5.

There has been a misconception among students that the grading system changed. However, that is not the case. Rather, the system was changed to fix an inconsistency between PowerSchool and Schoology. “There were discrepancies between Schoology and PowerSchool. How the decimal places were set in Schoology was one way, [but] then when grades were syncing over to PowerSchool, it was set another way….Let’s say you had a 92.5 and that was an A minus in Schoology. When the grades would sink to PowerSchool, because it was set to rounding, then all of a sudden, you had a 93 and you had an A. So depending on which system you were looking in, you had two different grades. So it’s not that the grading scale changed. It’s that the way that it [is] being reported, [is] set up correctly now where previously it had not been,” Director of Technology and Digital Learning Erin Offerdahl said.

This was not an impromptu change. The technology department has been looking for a solution to grade discrepancies since the issue arose earlier this year. “I have been working on this since October trying to figure out why there were inconsistencies for students. And depending on the teacher that you have, they use Schoology differently, and so for teachers that use Schoology as the sole purpose for grading assignments and everything, it was really frustrating for students to see grades that were different there versus grades that were in PowerSchool. [We were] trying to make it consistent also for parents so they’re actually seeing the real, live grade that is associated with our grading scale that we’ve always had,” Offerdahl said.

Although the change is small, some students expressed that the decimal change makes them more anxious about their grades. “I just think it’s kind of weird. I’ve always checked my grades, [but] now [the decimal places are] making me slightly worried when I look at them,” Senior Nate Litts said.

While all teachers had to make the changes to grades with a decimal place, it was more impactful for those who rely more heavily on the Schoology grading system. “I think for me, I do less grading in Schoology than other teachers. The more grading you do in Schoology, the more tricky it’s been this year, so I can understand for those teachers how [this] change [is] useful and helpful,” Physics teacher, Tanner Stevens said.