Guidance on Quarter 4 grading for middle and high school students

Dear Families:

I am writing to share information regarding the district’s grading practices for fourth quarter for Middle and High School students.  I hope you find this helpful but encourage you to reach out to your child’s principal , assistant principal, dean or academic head if you (or your child) has any questions.

I must stress that in order to achieve credit for course completion, your child is required to participate in on-line learning opportunities and complete assignments.  Although the Regents examinations as well as local end of year assessments are canceled, students will only earn credit if they successfully complete their courses.  I ask that you continue to partner with us and your child’s teachers to make certain they stay on task and complete assigned work.  We are here to help you and your child meet this goal.

Sincerely,

Susan M. Swartz, Superintendent

Quarter 4  Highlights and Changes to Quarter 4:

  • Students must submit assignments to teachers for evidence of learning in order to earn credit for any course. Students are encouraged to attend the Google Meets with their teachers for clarification and live lessons, but the ultimate determination of whether or not a student passes the course and receives credit will depend upon that individual student’s submission of coursework;
  • All New York State exams (including Regents) have been cancelled. The NYS Education Department will allow students to earn Regents diploma credit if they pass the course;
  • There will be no final exams;
  • The Quarter 4 grading system will not be numeric to account for loss of in-person instruction and support for students. Instead, students will receive:Feedback from teachers on their digital assignments;
    A Pass (P) or Incomplete (I) at the end of Quarter 4 based on the totality of submitted portfolio of work for each course;
  • Teachers will return to PowerSchool to record assignments. Students and parents will be able to receive assignment notifications if an assignment is Passing, Incomplete, or Missing.

Quarter 4 Philosophy at Scotia-Glenville

The current extended school closure (beginning March 16th) as a result of the global pandemic has caused a need for a significant adjustment to our grading system for Quarter 4. This message is intended to communicate the adjustments Scotia Glenville has made for all secondary students (MS & HS) with regard to Quarter 4 grades and report cards.

There are a variety of reasons behind the changes in our Quarter 4 adjustments which include the following:

Loss of the daily class/school environment which affords teacher-supervised time for academic assistance through Study Halls, lunch periods, after-school tutoring, etc.
Equity issues relating to availability of computing devices and internet access which are still being resolved
Continuing adjustment to a remote learning environment for students, families, and faculty
Many families in our community as well as faculty and staff are dealing with unprecedented loss of income, daycare challenges, and health related issues

Curriculum and Assignments

Lessons and activities will continue to be posted in Google Classroom while Office Hours will continue to follow students’ schedules on a two-hour delay. Students may receive lessons and activities in different ways based upon the course:

Prerecorded video lessons of new content followed by Google Meets during teachers’ Office Hours to follow up on the lesson and answer questions;
Live lessons where teachers provide instruction in real-time and students ask questions and participate. Live lessons are always recorded and posted in Google Classroom for students with scheduling conflicts so they can view the lesson at a later time.
Despite the cancellation of state assessments, students are still required to meet course standards to show evidence of learning. This is especially true of Regents-bearing courses. Students enrolled in these classes must pass the course in order to be eligible to receive Regents diploma credit. Therefore, it is critical that students engage in the learning online and provide work to teachers so they may receive timely and specific feedback on a regular basis in order to pass the course/grade. For middle school and high school non-Regents courses, students will still be required to pass the course in order to earn credit for the course and move onto the next level.

Assessments and Feedback

Our Quarter 4 student evaluation system will emphasize teacher feedback to students. Teachers will provide feedback through an accurate and up to date PowerSchool Gradebook, teacher comments on work submitted, and answering questions during Office Hours and/or direct emails to students/parents.

Motivation for Effort and Determination

If a student earns a P in Q4, they are eligible to earn an additional 3 points toward their final course average. The maximum score a student can earn for their final course average is 100 (as has always been the policy for final course averages). This would have a direct impact on increase in GPA. See the example below:

Student      Quarterly Average
Q1                  77
Q2                 79
Q3                   P
Q4                  P

Final Average    78 → 81

Report Cards

Quarter 4 PowerSchool gradebooks will record P, I or M values for coursework assigned April 13 through the end of the school year. Students will be considered to have passed Q4 if the totality of their submitted coursework has, at minimum, met the course standards. A traditional “F” will not appear on report cards for students who are not passing Q4 or the overall school year. Instead, students will receive an INC and will be contacted by administration for alternative course recovery. Year-long courses will receive a numeric final course average; Semester 2 courses will receive a P or INC.