Hannibal public schools to vote on Standards-Based Grading.

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Blane Mundle explains why he wants to table Jeff Evans motion to cease Standards Based Grading for grades three and up. From left, Tysa Coleman, Justin Parker, J’Nelle Lee, and Blane Mundle.

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Hannibal School Board meeting next month could result in the end of Standards-Based Grading for some grade levels next year.

On Wednesday night the Hannibal School Board voted to table a motion made by board member Jeff Evans for all district schools to transition to traditional grading from third grade and up for the 24-25 school year.

Board member Scott Hawes seconded the motion.

This year Hannibal Middle School and Stowell Elementary implemented standards-based grading for all subjects and grade levels. All of Hannibal elementary schools are using SBG in at least one grade level.

The motion comes after the district distributed a survey about Standard Based Grading (SBG) to students’ families and teachers. The survey results—which included more than 250 family responses and 95 teacher responses—were included in the Wednesday night meeting agenda.

Some of the board members wanted more time to look at the survey results before voting.

“I’m not disagreeing with you at all, but I haven’t had the opportunity to read this,” President of the Board Blane Mundle said. 

Hannibal High School is the only school in the district not using SBG at all. 

Board member Stacy Graves showed concern for teachers who have worked at implementing the standard.

“There are some teachers who have worked so hard and are very pro standards-based. They have had a lot of success with it,” she said. “I just don’t feel comfortable. I mean, I have had pretty strong feelings about standards-based grading, and I am not sure we are doing our elementary teachers a service.”

Board member Tysa Coleman also said she wanted to keep the Evans’ motion on the table. Coleman moved to table Evans’ motion until February’s meeting, and Graves seconded it. Coleman’s motion was approved 4-3.  Evans, Hawes, and Parker voted no.

Melissa Menze, physical education teacher at Eugene Field Elementary, addressed the board during the patron comment section.

“I appreciate you taking your time to go over the surveys that were sent in. It sounds like we have some good feedback. I would hate for something to be rushed and then a problem arise,” she said. 

Menze said a problem with cutoff at the elementary level are the teachers will be required to use two different grading systems. As a physical education teacher, Menze teaches all grade levels in the school.

Katie Webb, vocal music teacher at Mark Twain elementary, reminded the board that many new teachers have started their careers using SBG.

“There are some of our younger staff that might not have these tools.If you are looking at making that change, make sure that you’re encouraging professional development,” she said.

Susan Johnson, superintendent for Hannibal Public Schools, said she appreciates the teachers’ hard work regardless of whether they use traditional grading or standard grading.

“I understand we all need to make sure we’re speaking the same language, but I just appreciate the board taking the time to really look at that feedback,” she said. “I appreciate few of our board members that have really engaged with some of our staff and tried to get one on one knowledge, recognizing our teachers are the professionals.”

Editor’s Note: Changes have been made to update this story from a previous version.

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