Following Governor Sununu’s announcement that New Hampshire schools will remain in a state of remote learning for the duration of the academic year, he encouraged school districts to consider increased flexibility in their grading practices moving forward. Remote learning presents a very different and more stressful educational environment for our students than the traditional model of “going to school”. Forgoing some aspects of formal grading may help to alleviate some of the stress experienced by both students and their families. Prioritizing certain subjects and specific standards within those subjects will help our teachers to focus on the skills and concepts that are most essential for students to learn. For these reasons, we will be making some significant adjustments to our grading practices for Trimester 3. I have broken out these changes between lower grades and upper grades below.
On the Trimester 3 report card, K-4 students will receive performance indicators (N,P, M, E) for standards in English language arts and math. The number of standards that are reported will likely be lower than in Trimester 2 as teachers are focusing on the standards that are most essential. K-4 students will not receive any grades or ratings for habits of mind and positive behaviors, related arts, science, or social studies.
On the Trimester 3 report card, 5-8 students will receive performance indicators (N,P, M, E) for standards in English language arts and math. The number of standards that are reported will likely be lower than in Trimester 2 as teachers are focusing on the standards that are most essential. 5-8 students will not receive any ratings for habits of mind and positive behaviors. No numeric scores will be reported for any content areas. In place of a numeric score, students will receive a rating of Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) for ELA and math as well as related arts, Spanish, science, and social studies. A rating of S will signify that the student’s work was considered to have earned the equivalent of a 75 (C-) or better.
Progress reports will not be issued for this trimester and honor and high honor status will not be calculated. Students will be eligible to participate in co-curricular activities in the fall provided they demonstrate effort to complete assignments and participate in distance learning.
Special considerations for grades 7-8:
Students in grades 7 and 8 are traditionally recognized for their academic achievement at graduation, either by serving as marshals or ushers (seventh graders) or by being named as one of top four students in their class (eighth graders). While we don’t know what our end of the year celebration will look like yet, we do want to preserve and honor these traditions. We will use students’ grade point averages as calculated at the end of Trimester 2 to determine class standing.
In order for students to be considered to serve as marshals or ushers or to be named as one of the top four students, they will need to meet the following criteria:
- Complete all required assignments during Trimester 3
- Have all standard performance indicators rated as P or better
- Have all overall grades rated as an S.
I will notify the top six students in grade 7 and the top four students in grade 8 in the next few days so they are encouraged to continue demonstrating strong effort.
Teachers will continue to provide detailed feedback to students about their work. Feedback to students on their submission of assignments has a greater impact on their learning and continued engagement than reporting a score. It is feedback that lets students know where they are on the learning continuum and what they need to do to improve. The changes to our grading practices acknowledge the very different times that we find ourselves in and are intended to alleviate some of the stress experienced by our students. Please let me know if you have any questions.