April 2, 2020
By now you have all heard of the governor’s extension of the closure of all schools in New York State until April 15. To this end, I have provided all teachers in the secondary school with new instructional guidelines, based on the New York State Education Department (NYSED), that include the teaching and assessment of new materials.
As of April 1, all teachers began teaching of new materials to students. Teachers are therefore conducting their classes, to the extent possible, as if students were in school in front of them. Instruction will also be conducted with the assumption that if we never resume to normalcy, students’ education will, to all extent possible, prepare them for passing of the respective courses, any impending examinations, and grade advancements, as well as prepare them for courses they will be taking next year.
With the April 1 introduction of new teaching materials, teachers will now indicate incomplete (INCP) or complete (COMP) on all report cards. This grade will be based on whether students participated and adequately completed assignments or not. Numeric grades provided for the third quarter during suspension of onsite classes will be grades earned through March 13.
If the suspension of onsite classes continues into late spring, we will use grades from September through March 13 as the basis for final course grades. Where students’ averages from September through March 13 were failing, we will utilize information from their participation and completion of assigned tasks from March 16 until resumption of normal school as a basis for assigning a final grade.
If we were never to resume normal in-person classes prior to the end of the year, students’ final grades will be determined by the grade they had up until March 13, in addition to the teachers’ recommendations of whether they think the students are adequately prepared to receive credit for the course. This recommendation will be based on students’ class participation and completion of assigned tasks from March 13 until the end of the school year.
If in-person classes resume prior to the end of the year, the district’s traditional grading practices will resume. Please note that students’ academic performance may be impacted when we return if they were not participating throughout the closure of the building. Please remember that we are not on vacation at this time. All students are required to be participating in all their classes.
All students are required to be regularly participating and completing assigned tasks. I have heard of and communicated with some students who have the capability, but have not been involved in lessons since March 13. Some students have also been inconsistent in their class participation and work completion. These are unacceptable. We are not on vacation. All students need to be attending classes as if they were in the building.
Mark. A. Pitterson, Ed.D.