On Friday, April 17th Superintendent Baker shared a letter with parents/guardians, students and teachers, outlining the shift from our “Maintenance Phase” of remote learning to our new “Continuity of Learning Phase.” It appears there are still a few lingering questions, particularly in regards to whether or not student work counts and grading. I hope this letter provides some clarification.
The terms “Maintenance Phase” and “Continuity of Learning Phase” come from directives from the Agency of Education. The “Maintenance Phase” was a temporary period of time between March 16th-April 17th that allowed all students, families and teachers the opportunity to transition from more traditional school structures to remote learning. If you recall, there were many uncertainties surrounding how long school would be in dismissal. Because the transition to school dismissal and remote learning was anxiety-producing in itself, the last thing our supervisory union wanted to do was induce further anxiety by setting too high expectations for students. Submitted student work during the “Maintenance Phase” was assessed and graded based on completion or no completion. Students who were completing assignments and turning them in earned credit for that work. In an effort to “Do No Harm” to students it was decided that anything less than a 3 would not count against the student’s current grade.
Now that we have received more direction from Governor Scott and the Agency of Education regarding the extended length of time remote learning will last, we are tasked with implementing what is called the “Continuity of Learning Phase.” This is where we are required to have a more formalized and cohesive plan for assessing performance on assigned tasks beginning on April 20, 2020. We will continue to use our Performance Based Assessment System that measures progress toward a standard (1-Does not meet expectations; 2-Making progress toward expectations; 3-Meets expectations consistently and independently; 4-Exceeds expectations and extends learning). So, toward the end of next week parents should be able to sign into the Parent Portal for PowerSchool and check progress. Keep in mind that while this assessment is critical; performance-based grading does allow us to focus progress toward a standard and not just one measure in time. Our system has always allowed students to continue to improve an assignment. We want students engaged in the thinking behind the work and not just in completing a task. Parents should always feel comfortable reaching out to a teacher if performance is an issue.
In summary, the school year is not over. Work completion and submitting work is important and will count towards a student’s overall grade in each course of study. Fridays are designated for students to “Fix and Finish” work and to connect with their teachers.
We understand these times have been stressful for everyone. We would like to thank all of you for your hard work and patience.
Windsor School Principal