April 10, 2020
We are ending Week 4 of AVS Remote Learning. Thank you for the photos, the appreciation, and the helpful feedback. Your positive responses are affirming the truly amazing work our staff is doing to translate their teaching expertise into effective distance learning. We appreciate you as well for doing your best to carve out space and time in your work and home life to support your children’s learning.
I am writing to inform you of a change in our grading system for the remainder of the academic year. When our students are physically attending our schools, teachers traditionally assign grades as a standard practice in assessing learning. Over the past two weeks, our administrative team has had conversations about grading when teaching students remotely.
When initially faced with a relatively brief closing of our schools, continuing the grading of students’ work seemed manageable and sensible because this is what teachers do when school is not physically closed. However, we are now confronted with the challenge of our school being closed for a prolonged period of time. We particularly believe this is necessary when considering the myriad of hardships that may present themselves at this time, such as a family member becoming ill, a parent losing a job, a family-owned business that is struggling, increased and ongoing social isolation and more. In short, while we all desire a measure of continuity, we do not believe that traditional practices are sufficient or appropriate in the unstable environment we currently find ourselves in.
Therefore, we have decided to implement a modified grading system for the remainder of the academic year. In making this transition, we will assess students based upon their completion, submission, and understanding of their work. Teachers will continue to teach students their curricula using Google Classroom, Zoom, and other platforms. Additionally, teachers will assess students with shorter assessments, entry/exit tickets, and quizzes as appropriate. Students who successfully complete 65% of their assignments and meet these expectations will earn a grade of “passing” for the term. Students who successfully complete 80% of their assignments and meet these expectations will earn a grade of “passing with distinction” for the term. By doing this, we join a multitude of public and private schools who have recently adopted similar policies.
After much careful consideration, the Auburn School District has decided that this revision in our grading practices is the most appropriate course of action to support our students, parents, and staff during these challenging times by reducing the stress for everyone. We thank you for your continued support and understanding. Click here to access an FAQ page to answer any questions that you might have. As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any additional concerns or questions.