Guidelines For Educational Continuity and Grading

Guidelines for educational continuity and grading

DMS Guidelines for Educational Continuity and Grading

3/18/20


As teachers and educators, we often refer to the “education process” which is the foundation of how we deliver our mission as teachers. The main vehicle for delivery is “class time”; the physical space where desks, chairs, instructional materials and SMARTBoard/projectors are strategically placed for the greatest learning outcomes. 


The education process during class time demands attention, discipline, and interpersonal interaction between teachers and students; while maintaining a set schedule of routine and classroom norms. All of these mechanisms are in place to maximize the transfer of knowledge in the form of skills and content. We rate success of student understanding by giving a numerical grade showing a percentage of what has been learned, and retained.


Under the current circumstances that we have been forced into, we have lost the normalcy that comes with ”brick and mortar” class time. 


Fortunately, virtual online resources create a new vehicle for educational continuity.

 

Our mission as educators and teachers include the sacred partnership with the parents and guardians of the children we serve. We have a moral, and legal, imperative to teach the children under our charge. Given the loss of control in the classroom with the aforementioned necessities, i.e. class schedule, interpersonal interactions, discipline, etc.  it is my strong belief that we could not fairly give grades as we have traditionally done under these present circumstances. At least not at this time. I believe we will do more harm than good. This practice will be evaluated again if our current situation is extended. Furthermore, the MA DESE has mandated the following:


All schools should provide students with alternate academic review and enrichment learning opportunities so they can maintain academic readiness.

Provide students and families with reading lists, enrichment activities and prompts that support continued learning.

Provide opportunities to maintain connections with learning.

That these activities will not be graded or present as mandatory.

Resources to help students maintain academic readiness during mandated closure.


Educational continuity will require commitment by families and children that want to learn. To pursue an education that they want, and need. We have to have a shift in mindset, from "going to school because you have to”, to “learning because we want to.”


The teachers will provide communication with students on a daily basis with lessons that will build on the skills and content that we have fostered for two-thirds of this school year. Parents and guardians will be asked to monitor the engagement of their students on a daily basis. If we feel that students are hindering their educational opportunity by refusing to engage with the online lessons on a daily basis, we will communicate this fact and ask for support of our mission to continue to teach our children well. 


Your students are already aware, but as an FYI, online resources will be found at the following:

6th grade will be posting all lessons and resources on the HW Webpage on Edmodo

7th & 8th grade will be utilizing Google Classroom as their educational platform.

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