TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Students across the region are back in the classroom, and this year, students in Tennessee schools are starting off with a change to their grading scale.

A new law in the state changes the uniform grading system for students to a 10-point scale.

Dr. David Timbs, Supervisor of Secondary and Instructional Technology for Johnson City Schools, said he expects the scale to be a great help to students.

“A lot of districts, including Johnson City, have pushed for this change for several years,” Timbs said. “We were very excited to actually see the state board recommend this and then the legislature actually pass this change.”

Timbs said the new scale is something the school district’s been preparing for since their board passed it at the June meeting.

“This gave our principals time over the summer to let teachers know about this new grading scale so that as school started, our teachers had time to think through how this would change their grading practices,” Timbs said.

Kingsport City Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Andy True said they are also trying to ensure parents, staff and students are informed so they aren’t surprised when they see the first report card this year.

“Certainly, when you have other students from other states competing for scholarships, competing for admission slots, having some standardized criteria on how you’re comparing would be helpful,” True said. “We certainly don’t want our students to be put at a disadvantage when they are seeking those other types of opportunities.”

Both school leaders agree they want education to remain the highest priority, regardless of what the scale says.

“It is giving students more of an opportunity to demonstrate to teachers what they learned and receive an appropriate grade for that,” Timbs said.

Timbs said the grading scale change is not retroactive, so they won’t be going back in time to adjust letter grades from past years.

An “A” is a score between 90 and 100, a “B” is 80 to 89, a “C” is a score between 70 and 79, a “D” is between 60 to 69 and 0 to 59 is an “F”.