During these unprecedented times there are many topics worthy of reflection regarding teaching and learning. Our current grading system is one of those areas. To be compassionate, responsive, and fair to our students, we will move to a “pass/incomplete” system for fourth quarter in grades 3-12. This means:
• Pass- indicates an acceptable degree of completion and/or accuracy
• Incomplete- indicates an insufficient level of completion or accuracy in order for teachers to determine understanding
To help make these decisions, our guiding commitment to our students are:
• Kids First. Content Second.
• Do no harm.
• Learning over grades.
During the week of April 6, teachers will convert their practices and digital gradebooks to this new system while remaining committed to our original premise to provide engaging activities for students. As this system is new to us as a learning institution, here are some details that may be helpful:
• Focus on success: Students will be provided multiple opportunities to demonstrate enough mastery to earn a “P” on an assignment.
• Feedback over grades: Teachers will use a multitude of resources to provide individual and collective feedback on student progress.
• Student and parent feedback: Starting on April 8, we will seek feedback in the form of a survey to parents and students to better understand what aspects of distance learning are working and what needs to be reconsidered.
• Record of activities: Progress Book will continue to serve as the digital grade book and remain a location for teachers, students, and parents to view assignment completion records.
• Do no harm: Participation in fourth quarter work will maintain a sense of community, engage students in new and creative learning opportunities, and prepare for next year’s content. Participation, whether full or minimal, will not negatively impact a student’s previous grades in quarter one through quarter three nor will negatively impact 2020-2021 course/class placement.
Courses associated with high school credit have additional details:
• Students will be granted a cumulative letter grade.
o Year Long Courses: Average of quarter one, quarter two, quarter three
o Semester Course in Second Semester: Quarter three
• Often, a student’s grade point average is positively impacted by the fourth quarter grade. To stay true to “do no harm” teachers have the discretion to work with students who were close to the next letter grade (i.e., “B” to “A”) in quarter three to positively impact that quarter’s grade.
• A note will be added to every student’s transcript who is participating in a high school course to indicate this time period and engagement in distance learning versus the typical school model.
• Results from fourth quarter will only enhance a student’s experience; fourth quarter results will not impede graduation for current seniors.
• There will be no final examinations as part of high school courses.
Please feel free to contact me directly if with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued partnership, just one of the many reasons that Indian Hill Schools is a special place.
Dedicated to the success of our Braves,
Melissa A. Stewart, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning