COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- http://www.kcci.com/news/15052147/detail.html Students who don't hand in homework won't receive a zero anymore under new rules for a new semester that started on Monday at Council Bluffs Community Schools. Students and teachers are encouraged to use the new grading techniques. School officials said that under the old regime, a student who received a zero had a tough time recovering a grade in the course. Administrators said that by making the failing gap smaller, students still have a chance to bounce back and pass at the end of the semester, even after a mistake. Superintendent Dr. Marth Bruckner said she has seen many students start a new year rebelling. "We don't want to send the message to kids, as we have done in some classes, that after you have failed in this class for four weeks, you have no chance of passing at the semester," Bruckner said. In Council Bluffs, each grade range has constituted 10 points, so an A is a grade from 90 to 100, a B is from 80 to 90 etc. An F has ranged from zero to 60. Last week, Bruckner said she visited with high school staff and recommended using similar intervals, so that on the 100-point scale, an F would range from 50 to 60 instead of zero to 60. "Some teachers are really wrestling with, 'I don't want to give them 50 out of 100 points,' and to those teachers I say, 'Fine, you don't have to. Go to a different grading scale, like 5-4-3-2-1-0,'" Bruckner said. "We're not saying give them half credit. We're saying, give them the F. Just don't kill them with the F." Parents are getting used to the new recommendations. "I have an 8- and a 10-year-old," said parent Jodi Brown. "And as they excel through school, I would rather have them be held accountable for their actions. If they don't turn in an assignment, I would think they deserve a zero for not completing it." "I think it's great to give them a second chance to make up for it," said Julie Michalski. "I don't want to see anyone fail, but they need to be held accountable for their work." Right now, the new grading idea is only recommended for the high schools -- Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Use is left to teachers, but Bruckner said the hope is that departments will work together so that everyone agrees on the same scale. Gretna uses something Superintendent Dr. Kevin Riley called the "do your work" policy. Students who don't hand in something, or don't pass with a grade of 70 percent or greater, must come in before and after school to complete and pass that assignment. Riley said the policy has been used for 25 years, and in that time, the failure rate has decreased from 10 percent to just a handful of failing grades at the high school. He said the policy has also cut down on behavior issues.