70/30: A Petition for a Change in Grading Policy


NAI hybrid and NACA students received their first few weeks of grades, and began to notice the impact of North Allegheny’s new grading policy. This new policy puts a greater emphasis on test grades and reduces the impact of homework and other assignments. This creates stress about grades for students because one bad test could impact your grade substantially.

Some students decided they wanted to take this issue into their own hands. Vishaal Komaragiri, Aditya Mallepalli, Darsh Mahadevia, Gaurav Nayak, Hamza Bokhari, and Kerem Yasar are the creators of a petition. This petition is called ‘Change The Grading for Hybrid and NACA Students’

and has been signed by over 2,800 concerned students and parents. 

By creating this petition, they started the conversation for change. Since the petitions birth, the creators have come in contact with Mrs. Ewing, North Allegheny Intermediate’s principal, they are now discussing ways to change and improve the grading policy.

Concerned freshman Aditi Patwari, agrees that this year’s grading policy impacts her grades tremendously. When asked why she signed the petition, Patwari says, “Covid learning, with online classes, is already substantially harder than in class learning and adding the new, more intense grading policy, creates another level of stress around grades. So why not sign a petition that is trying to help the overall well-being of the student body.”

Another student, John Maley, who is a sophomore this year at NAI says, “I have been extremely stressed with all my grades, and honestly the new grading policy just made my stress worse.”

To get answers, we contacted the creators of the petition (Komaragiri, Mallepalli, Mahadevia, Nayak, Bokhari, and Yasar) to get answers to some commonly asked questions about the petition. 

When did you all realize that a change to the grading policy was something that needed to be talked about?

We all noticed how our grades were centered around tests and just losing a couple of points could easily drop your grade. After the implementation of the summative/ formative assignment grading system, kids all over NA were faced with stress and anxiety as health and well-being should be the top priority during these unprecedented times. 

 Why do you think it was changed in the first place?

We think the grading system was changed because the district is trying to prepare us for higher-level studies, such as college.

What is one thing that you want the people you signed your petition to know?

We want people to know that we are in constant contact with the principal and the school board and that we are working hard to make the grading policy fair for everyone.

If one thing is abundantly clear, Komaragiri, Mallepalli, Mahadevia, Nayak, Bokhari, and Yasar are working together and with administration to help everyone get better grades and thrive this school year. 

Student council president, Kiran Szymkowiak, is also communicating with Ms. Ewing to alter and improve the grading policy.  Szymkowiak said, “The main message the principals want us to know is that they hear us and know that we are pushing for change. They are relaying all of our ideas to the administration for further evaluation. If change is made, which is a possibility, it is more likely that we will go back to the old system with slight changes than make a compromise. However, nothing is known as to what the administration will do. Also, if the old system is restored, it will affect the cyber academy as well.” 

The voices of North Allegheny have been heard by administrators and staff. Change is upon us and teachers are now able to decide if the would like to use the new system or retire to the full point system.

To see how student received the change we talked to Nora Catanzarite, Kara Wertz, and Dylan Dayton, all of which are sophomores at NAI

What teachers do you have that kept the 70/30 grading system?

Dayton and Wertz say, Mrs. Pavely english

Catanzarite says Mrs. Witt english

What system do you like better?

They all agree that the total point system is better than the 70/30 system.

Does it confuse you that some teachers go by a different grading system than others?

Catanzarite says, Yes, very much so.

Dayton says, Yes because it is hard to keep track of how my different scores will affect my different grades.

Wertz says,  Yes, it doesn’t make any sense as to why it was done that way.


The School Boards solution is not perfect or ideal for all, but it is a fair agreement between students and teachers. Leaving both sides content with the outcome, the petition for Change did its job.