A guide to grading policy changes

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Ingrid Hofmann

Junior Ingrid Hofmann checks her grades online.

Margaret Huang, Feature Editor

Amidst the distress of a global pandemic, educators and administrators around the world are scrambling to adjust their schools– including curriculum, test preparation and grading policies– accordingly.  

At Pleasant Valley, measures for online school were taken as soon as permitted by state legislators. However, due to the lack of precedence of the situation, leniency is expected to be given to students who are likely already trifled by more dire woes than classes. According to an online news release by the district, late work will not be penalized for points. 

Alleviating any deadline-induced pressure, this change in grading policy has allowed students, like Junior Allison Suen, to relax in one area. “Now that we’re studying at home, there are so many other distractions, and students may have to share supplies with family members, so they may not have enough time to finish assignments within the week. Overall, the leniency makes it easier for students in difficult situations at home,” stated Suen. 

Despite late work not being penalized, teachers are required to ensure the participation of students through a mandatory attendance assignment each week. While students are technically free to work at their own pace, they are encouraged to abide by each teacher’s intended timeline, and all assignments will be due the last week of school: June 1-5.

Many students appreciate the format of weekly assignments. For example, senior John Mendelin finds the ability to follow his own schedule convenient. “I’ve been trying to figure out how to budget my time well, and I’ve heard about some people trying to cram all their work into a couple days each week. I’m trying to set more reasonable goals for myself and do a little bit each day, so I can have as much time to myself as I’d like,” he said.

In addition to late work penalties being removed, instead of a third and fourth quarter grade, PVHS and PVJH will only issue one grade for the semester. This grade remains a letter grade, and discussions about shifting to a pass/fail system for the semester have yet to conclude. 

While many students and teachers see the appeal of a pass/fail option this semester, Senior Aditya Desai believes this system should be optional if it is enacted. “Online learning is tougher than in school for many, and learning is more important than the difference between a 91 percent and a 91.5 percent, but for some people it’s easier, and they should also have the opportunity to succeed,” explained Desai.

With the new grading policies in place, PVHS, along with the entire world, is putting forth its best efforts to adapt for the common good of the students.