Staff Editorial: Adjusted Grading for Remote Learning Gets a Pass

Staff Editorial: Adjusted Grading for Remote Learning Gets a Pass

It is evident that the efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus has affected the school district’s ability to teach its students what they need to learn before summer arrives. With only a number of weeks left, the sudden shift from classrooms to living rooms is bound to have ramifications on the students with particularly hectic schedules. While there are those critical of their efforts to keep their students engaged, their course of action aiming to prioritize feedback and convenience for students, especially for those whose schedules are heavily affected by the virus, was absolutely the right call, as it is clear that not every student has the opportunity to succeed under these new conditions. 

This new method allows students to choose how they are graded for each of their classes individually. Their two options are to either have their grades be reflected in the standard 1-5 scale, or to have that course merely be represented by a pass/fail system, the latter of which will have no positive or negative impact on their GPA. For example, a student can have a 95% in English class while have a 75% in mathematics. That student can choose to have the English class be represented by a 1, which will positively impact their GPA, and have their math class be represented by a pass, which will give them the credits that class.

Why do this in the first place? After the first couple of weeks of e-learning, gathering a great deal of feedback, a district committee came to the conclusion that not every student has the same time on their hands, whether they are working or babysitting, to take care of the growing pile of school work, or attend every Zoom meeting. To help alleviate some stress, they not only requested that the amount of work given be lowered, but also decided to give their students the option to have a more linear method of grading that would allow more flexibility, as grades may not be someone’s primary focus in times like these.

Additionally, final exams are no longer required, and if a department decides to have one, it will only contain information that the student has had the opportunity to learn. It is also asked that this decision not be up to individual teachers, but rather decided as a whole by the building department. This is good, as it allows teachers to focus more on the lessons and giving the information needed to prepare for the student’s secondary education, as well as relieve some of the stress some students who haven’t the opportunity to study may have. However, some Dual Enrollment courses may require an exam from MCC or UNO. 

In conclusion, the efforts to accommodate for the academic struggles caused by the COVID-19 virus by allowing students a choice of a more linear method of grading, and having final exams be optional have been exemplary, and well received by staff and students alike.