K-12 Grading Practices/Graduating Your Senior

  • Grading in Secondary Buildings: Community Update - April 15, 2020

    One page flyer for Secondary Grading Practices and Graduating your Senior - April 15, 2020


    K-5 Monitoring the Learning

    Teachers will develop ways for students to share their thinking and learning in relation to weekly learning targets and essential standards. In addition, feedback will be given to students on their progress. The intent of feedback is to provide opportunities for student reflection on their learning. This information also helps teachers to plan instruction. 

    Teachers are not marking student progress on report card goals during this time.  We understand that varying circumstances in a household may impact student participation and the ability to complete assignments. We urge students to participate but realize levels of participation will vary from household to household. For this reason, report card goals will not be marked this trimester.  Student report cards for 2019-20 will ONLY include report card goals for trimester 1 and 2.

    Secondary (6-12) Grading Practices

    Beginning Thursday, April 16th, the following guidelines are in place:

    • At the end of the semester, students will be awarded CREDIT or NO CREDIT.  Transcripts will include a footnote that second semester grades were impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • All students will have the opportunity to redo or makeup work assigned prior to March 13, as well as new work assigned during the Continuity of Learning instructional period.
    • Assignments will be graded and entered into MiStar.
    • All students with NO CREDIT will be provided an opportunity to complete learning and earn the credit upon return to school or completion of credit recovery. 
    • Students enrolled in external programs, including OSTC, Dual Enrollment, or Michigan Virtual, should follow participation guidelines from those organizations.  Grades reported from these programs will be recorded on the student’s transcript as CREDIT or NO CREDIT.  
    • Support teams in each building will reach out to individual students and families who either have not been able to engage in online learning or who are at risk of receiving no credit.

    Specific to graduating seniors, the following points are important:

    • Seniors are expected to participate in online instruction between 4/16 and 5/22 in order to complete their senior year.
    • We are committed to supporting all members of the FPS class of 2020 so that they can graduate as planned.  
    • Those students recovering credits through online courses or currently failing a core academic class are strongly encouraged to stay in close contact with building counselors and administrators.

    Rationale for not issuing grades

    In considering all options for grading students at the secondary level, we determined that credit/no credit was the best option for our current situation.  We considered various models that included letter grade options, but had several concerns:   

    • Inequitable Access - Contextual factors within a household and unique learning needs of students can impact a student’s ability to participate and therefore impact equitable access to a grade. 

    • Instructional Design and Content Focus - Moving to remote learning has resulted in significant shifts in instructional design, nature of student engagement, and content coverage. Offering grades during this shift creates undue pressure, anxiety, and stress. The authenticity of a grade during this time is impacted. Offering a grade creates a greater level of student participation required.

    • Continuity of Learning Plan Goals: The intent of the plan is to maintain structure, connections with peers and teachers, and create opportunities for new learning and is not intended to replace full instruction.

    • Social-Emotional Health: Stress and anxiety can impact cognition. Trauma experienced by students cannot be overlooked. The ability to support students through this trauma, stress and anxiety may not be able to make access to learning equitable for all students.

    • Inequitable Access Leading to Inequitable Burdens: A student’s ability to participate may lead to an incomplete for the semester. This could lead to an undue burden on the student to make-up the work over the summer or during the following school year with the possibility that their barriers for participation have not changed.

    In closing, if “we were to give letter grades, those grades would be based on faulty evidence, reflect the resources (or lack of resources) of students, and have little relationship to the grades we awarded for our courses prior to the pandemic.” ASCD Article , Assessments and Grading in the Midst of a Pandemic

    Reasons to engage in learning

    If not for a grade, what are the reasons for engaging in learning:

    • Routine and Structure: Participation provides routine and structure to otherwise unstructured days.
    • Continued Learning: Participation provides learning on new content supportive of the next grade level or course and provides great stimulation for our minds.  Learning feeds our minds in ways that food, exercise, and entertainment cannot.
    • Peer and Teacher Connections: Participation enables students to maintain connections to others. We all thrive with interaction with others.
    • Loss of Learning and Perseverance: Participation keeps prior learning active and continues building academic habits of mind and approaches to learning.  It also exercises our self-discipline and perseverance which are critical life success skills.
    • Social-Emotional Health: Participation provides students with access to a Social-Emotional support system. In a time where finding connections can be challenging this provides students a platform to engage with peers and teachers, share thinking and feelings, strengthen existing connections and make new ones.