I am writing to inform you of a change in our grading system for the remainder of the academic year. When our students are physically attending our schools, teachers traditionally assign grades as a standard practice in assessing learning. Over the past two weeks, our administrative team has had conversations about grading when teaching students remotely.
When initially faced with a relatively brief closing of our schools, continuing the grading of students’ work seemed manageable and sensible because this is what teachers do when school is not physically closed. However, we are now confronted with the challenge of our school being closed for a prolonged period of time. We particularly believe this is necessary when considering the myriad of hardships that may present themselves at this time, such as a family member becoming ill, a parent losing a job, a family-owned business that is struggling, increased and ongoing social isolation and more. In short, while we all desire a measure of continuity, we do not believe that traditional practices are sufficient or appropriate in the unstable environment we currently find ourselves in.
Therefore, we have decided to implement a modified grading system for the remainder of the academic year. In making this transition, we will assess students based upon their completion, submission, and understanding of their work. Teachers will continue to teach students their curricula using Google Classroom, Zoom, and other platforms. Additionally, teachers will assess students with shorter assessments, entry/exit tickets, and quizzes as appropriate. Students who successfully complete 65% of their assignments and meet these expectations will earn a grade of “passing” for the term. Students who successfully complete 80% of their assignments and meet these expectations will earn a grade of “passing with distinction” for the term. By doing this, we join a multitude of public and private schools who have recently adopted similar policies.
After much careful consideration, the Candia School District has decided that this revision in our grading practices is the most appropriate course of action to support our students, parents, and staff during these challenging times by reducing the stress for everyone. We thank you for your continued support and understanding. If you have any other questions, please contact me.