No score below 66%?


POSTED: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 1:35pm

UPDATED: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 3:55pm

At Seventh Ward School in Denham Springs 350 elementary students are just beginning the 2011 school year. Their performance will be graded differently than ever before, with a new policy called ‘No Zero’.

In am email to teachers, obtained by NBC33 News, Principal Stacey Milton writes: "If a child scored below a 66%, please write the 66% on the paper you send home to parents. The parents will see the 66% in PowerSchool as well. Now, a smart parent will do the math and see that the child actually scored below that. If they contact you, just explain our new school policy and it is actually to the child's benefit."

Tuesday, Milton answered our questions about why the school is making the swap and how it all works.

"Students who score below a 66%, which now is the highest ‘F’, will actually now receive a 66% instead of the lower score," says Milton.

She says that’s because just one bad grade can wreck a student’s average.

“It is so hard for a child to bring up a flat zero,” says Milton. “We want to make sure that the average that the child receives is reflective of their ability.”

Milton says the 66% rule is in effect regardless of how well a student scored in the past. It will replace every score lower than 66% for every student from Kindergarten to 5th Grade.

Milton explains, “I'm not giving them a passing grade. I am not giving any grades. I’m not giving them a passing grade. They are still receiving an 'F'.”

Milton says ‘No Zero’ is based on author, Rick Wormeli’s grading philosophy. You can view a youtube clip from Wormeli at

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I am a parent of a student at Seventh Ward Elementary. First I would like to say to whomever shared the email with the news...thank you for putting our students, our parents, our principal and our school in a difficult situation. We did not need this publicity. As parents, we shouldn't have to worry about reporters waiting for us in the carpool line to get an opinion on school policy. The parents who were interviewed were caught off guard and didn't really know the details of the policy. I believe the reporter pushed to get a positive and negative response on the subject by wording his questions to get what he was looking for. Then part of their responses were cut out of the interview. As reporters/news media in our area, seek to get the truth (do your research) before you try to cause a scandal. Seventh Ward is a wonderful school. Mrs. Milton is a fantastic principal who has a genuine concern for all her students. Seventh Ward is not the only school that is using the "No Zero" philosophy. Once again, do you research on the philosophy. Once you do, you will understand the purpose. We support you, Mrs. Milton.

Jennifer Crockett posted the link of Rick Wormeli's grading philosophy for which Livingston Parish School Board based the "No Zero" grading policy upon and Principal Milton of 7th Ward decided to adopt at her school this year. However, I don't think Ms. Crockett took the few minutes to view the You Tube posting of the Wormeli Philosophy because had she done she clearly would have never asked 7th Ward's Principal if she felt she was "fixing grades". This "No Zero" philosophy allows some students the small bit of hope that they need to continue on. I felt it was adopted by the LPSB because they want to allow every opportunity for their students to succeed and this "No Zero" policy does just that.

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