FARMINGTON — Farmington Municipal School District officials are looking for feedback from parents of elementary and middle school students about the standards-based grading system.

Parents' input will help the district improve communication about past and future changes in the system, district officials said.

The online survey will help the district identify the methods of communication that are working and pinpoint areas to improve, said Robert Emerson, the district's assistant superintendent of educational services and data management.

"We're trying to gather information about people's level of understanding and knowledge of the system so we can determine where to put our efforts in supporting schools, teachers, principals and parents in improving the system," Emerson said.

Parents can fill out the survey through April 11.

The survey asks parents how they became aware of the grading system change, if they asked their student's teacher to explain the standards-based grading system and if the student's teacher seemed to understand the change.

The standards-based grading system is a change from the traditional A-F grading system. In the new system, numbers on a scale of 0 to 4 represent a students' understanding of simple and complex learning goals for each subject.

The district adopted the new system in 2009 and has been implementing it since 2011.

During several curriculum meetings hosted by the district this year, parents voiced displeasure about the ongoing changes and requested an anonymous survey for parents and teachers to discuss the topic.

Emerson said a similar survey will be provided for teachers in the district, and district staff will compare results from both surveys.

Heather Webre, a parent of two students at Country Club Elementary School in Farmington, said her children's teacher did a fantastic job explaining the new grading system. But, she said, the survey was too short and did not give her a chance to express her displeasure about the change.

"I get the feeling that the district is not hoping to 'learn' anything from this survey, but (is) more hoping to appease parents by pretending to make an effort to listen to parents' concerns," Webre said in an email. "We get the new grading system and we don't like it."

Emerson said staff will use feedback from the survey and previous parent meetings as the district continues to refine the grading system.

"It's good to get that feedback and have that cycle where you can keep improving things," Emerson said.

Parents can fill out the survey at bit.ly/gradingsurvey

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.