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Perrysburg Schools News Article

HPI and PJHS - Remote Learning and Grading

Greetings HPI and PJHS Parents and Guardians,

We hope everyone is weathering this storm and this new reality as well as you can. We know that the stress put on families is tremendous and we are doing our best to determine the right path to take in the education of our students. We continue to use the analogy of flying the plane as we build it.

One of the major tasks we have been struggling with is the validity of grades for students in grades 5-8. We are sandwiched between the standards-based grading approach for our younger students and the more formal GPA-driven grades for our high school students. We know that there are many online or “distance” schools that have the capacity for these types of assessments and they are moving forward through this without missing a beat. That is not our situation. While we believe that our teachers have done a remarkable job in creating a learning environment conducive to student growth, this format is a struggle for both teachers and students. There is also a very real struggle with family stressors: parents tele-commuting while students are learning online, job loss, illness and the constant threat of exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

We believe that it is incumbent on us as a school district to be mindful of all of these factors and act in support of our students and families while striving to ensure all students achieve their greatest potential. It is with this thought that we have asked teachers to not test students in the traditional sense, but rather to involve them in the learning process without the added pressure of a grade looming over them. Teachers will be expecting students to be engaged and that means turning in assignments. Students are always expected to turn in all assignments. However, with the stressors mentioned above, we know that this will not always be possible. So, the question becomes: what is a reasonable grade and expectation in this environment?

In researching this question, we turned to other schools across Ohio and the country as well as leading education experts, and have developed a plan moving forward. We are moving away from our traditional grading approach for many of the reasons previously identified. Students will either receive a “P” grade, a “Pass” for the quarter, or an “I” grade, an “Incomplete” for the quarter.

We estimate that at least 90% of our students are completing their assignments regularly. We are proud of the work our students are doing and will work with you to continue to provide meaningful experiences. Students who do not turn in at least 80% of their work would receive an “I.” The families of these students will be contacted by teacher teams to develop a plan and to see how we can best support students, with the completion of the assigned work being the goal. If the course is not complete after this process, a grade of “F” will replace the Incomplete.

Perrysburg Junior High students taking courses for Perrysburg High School (PHS) credit will follow the same grade and weighting system designed for all students at PHS. A “P” will have the weight of a 4.0 for regular classes and 4.5 for Honors. This weighting will be averaged into the third quarter GPA to determine the semester grade. There will be no exams.

We understand that every family’s circumstances are unique and complex. If there are questions about your specific situation, we ask that you please reach out to your child’s building principal at your earliest convenience so we may work together to meet your child’s needs. We are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to gather as a school community again soon.

Please be well, take care of one another and know that we are here for you.

Go Jackets!
Brent Swartzmiller
Executive Director of Teaching & Learning
Perrysburg Schools

Posted Saturday, April 18, 2020
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