Housatonic End-of-Year Grading Information from HVRHS (Ian Strever) 1

End-of-Year Grading Information from HVRHS (Ian Strever)

Good morning, parents,

During PLP today, teachers will be reviewing end-of-the-year information about how grades of NYP will be handled if they are not resolved before June 21. Students will be receiving a paper copy of this document (attached below), as well as a form to help them outline the work they may need to do by the end of the year. This document was the work of our school’s Leadership Team, which has been meeting since the end of February to address some of the questions and feedback about our grading policy, especially the issue of deadlines. Please read this document carefully, as there are important implications for students. On May 29, we will be holding a Parent-Community Partnership Meeting to discuss several topics, including grading practices. If you have questions or feedback, please share them with us, and we will include them in our discussion that night, which will begin at 6 PM in Room 133.

With the end of year fast approaching it is important to take note of the following
procedures regarding grades of NYP:
● At the end of the school day on June 21st, all course grades of NYP will become final,with a value of 0 on a 4 point scale. A grade of NYP in any quarter will make the final grade in the class an NYP. No credit will be awarded for any course with an NYP.
● In order to give students an additional opportunity to demonstrate proficiency on
assessments, several days between now and the end of the year will be devoted to
providing reteaching and reassessment, operating as a “Super Flex” day.
● In some cases, the particular skill or standard measured on an assessment may have
been demonstrated on another assessment, possibly in a different course. In this
case, it is the student’s responsibility to work with their teacher to identify the skills or content standards addressed on the assignment in question, and what proficiency on that standard looks like. The student may then present other assessments to the teacher, and the teacher may​ accept these as substitutes. Students who believe this applies to them should submit the NYP Appeal Form to their classroom teacher for
consideration.
● A student with a grade of NYP has three choices at the end of the school year:
1) Accept the grade of NYP for the course, with no credit earned for the course
(NYP will remain on the student transcript).
2) Participate in the HVRHS summer school.
3) Retake the course in a subsequent school year.
● The HVRHS summer school will take place over a ten-day period. Summer school is
an option only for students with an NYP in English, Health/PE, Math, Science and
Social Studies. A fee will be charged. The fee will be waived to students who can
demonstrate extenuating circumstances or financial hardship. Transportation to/from
Summer School is the responsibility of the student. Prior to enrolling in the summer
school, students will complete a contract with their teacher outlining what must be
achieved in order for the grade to be changed from NYP. The summer school will be
overseen by a certified teacher. Summer school credits from other schools will not be
accepted unless warranted by special circumstances, at the discretion of
administration.
● Please note: This plan is for this year only; the Leadership Team will continue to study our grading policy and make recommendations when appropriate

One comment

  1. While this is a response to an old post, it is a reaction to new events at the high school.

    This morning, Jose Martinez sent an email to teachers and parents detailing the newly-disclosed end-of-year deadlines. An email to students was delivered later in the day. In short, teachers are not to administer summative assessments after June 7th, and all reassessments must be submitted by the end of the day on June 15th. Dr. Martinez’s email to students stated that the 17 teacher members of the Leadership Team “worked very hard to come up with fair student-centered solution to some of the grading issues”.

    -What Dr. Martinez stated in the above quote is misleading and cowardly. In fact, the Leadership Team also includes Ian Strever and Dr. Martinez himself. The team as described in the email to students (the 17 teachers mentioned by Dr. Martinez) did not make this decision. In fact, they were told what had already been decided: all summatives must be administered by the end of day om June 7th. In blaming teachers for an unfair and flawed solution, Dr. Martinez is divorcing himself from any culpability. Worse, Ian Strever, who described the grading policy to the Leadership Team, has made no mention of it. He did not take responsibility, nor ownership. While almost every school-related mass email in the past several months has been sent by Ian Strever, this email was not. If Ian Strever is unwilling to stand by the decisions he helped make, he is unfit to be a principal. If he is not willing to take ownership of a policy he presented to the Leadership Team, he is unfit to be principal. If he is unwilling to invite dialogue and feedback from teachers, students, and parents, he is unfit to be principal.

    -The aforementioned email was sent to teachers five full days after the Leadership Team was told of the end-of-year deadlines. That means that five days went by before the majority of teachers at the high school were informed of this decision. Such a decision will inevitably necessitate significant changes to teachers’ plans. Again, this decision was conveyed to teachers, via email, during the school day, barely more than a week before they are to stop all summative assessment. Teachers were told on the same day as parents and students, leaving them to field questions when all parties involved were provided the same information. Telling teachers in this way, at this time, is the epitome of disrespect and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of their job, a truth which is all the more unpalatable when faced with the fact that both were once teachers.

    – This policy was stated as being “student-centered”, but, per the administrations own figures, 30% of students carry at least one NYP. That means that 70% of students do not need two weeks of time to reassess. Teachers were already told that they should not assess or present new content on Superflex days. Now they are being stripped of significantly more time to do their actual job: teach. A minority of students benefit from this policy. The majority are now being robbed of educational experiences that were prepared to help them learn, practice, and succeed in their future, whatever form that may take. By essentially cutting two weeks of learning off of the year, the administration is suggesting that new learning does not matter- that what matters is giving more time to those who have not completed their work, or to those who need to reassess. The truth is, the majority of these students are not assessing/reassessing because they are having trouble with material. It is because they did not take advantage of the myriad chances they were given to complete the work proficiently. The administration is teaching those who have achieved proficiency that their needs are secondary, that preparing them for college and the workforce is secondary.

    -With discussion of the background of the policy, the dissemination of the information contained within it, and the fairness of the policy aside, it is important to reiterate that all assessment will stop after June 7th. All reassessment is supposed to stop after June 15th. What, then, is to happen in class after June 7th? Perhaps all class time the next week is supposed to be spent reassessing. But then what? The final four days of class are long blocks, but, theoretically, all work should be finished as all students should have completed their reassessments. So teachers and students are left with four days of long blocks to…

    Contact your local Board of Education member. Hold them accountable for the poor decisions. If they will not listen, don’t stop there- contact your town selectman.

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