For Parents: Regents, Assessments, Grading
The following is a letter from MHS Principal Craig Chandler:
As our current situation evolves, we are beginning to see some clarity in aspects of your child’s education. I’d like to share some updates about Regents exams, assessment and grading. As you know, June’s Regents exams have been canceled. Read the full guidance from the New York State Education Department, but I have also created this flowchart for you that simplifies that guidance with our students’ most common scenarios in mind. If, after consulting these documents, you have questions about how the June 2020 cancellation of Regents exams affects your child, please reach out to your child’s counselor.
You may have questions about your child’s other assessments. Mohonasen High School courses will NOT have final exams this year, with a couple of exceptions. Students enrolled in college courses may be expected to take a final exam at the discretion of the college. Some of our college courses have final exams, while some do not. If a student has a question about a final exam for a college course, please consult the teacher. Students enrolled in AP courses are still taking AP exams, but they will be given in an abridged, online format. Students without a quiet space to take an exam, or with concerns about their WiFi or their device should email me or our AP Coordinator Mr. Duane Wood. If students have questions about AP exams, they should ask their teacher or Mr. Wood.
This brings us to questions about grading. Every Mohonasen High School student has already earned a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Quarter grade. These grades should be available to you via the SchoolTool Portal. Although the 3rd Quarter has officially ended, we are continuing to accept 3rd Quarter work for full credit through Friday, May 1, 2020. This is our effort to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to promote high rates of student success.
Beyond the 3rd Quarter, teachers are continuing to assign and assess student work. As teachers begin to enter these grades, they will place them in their 4th Quarter grade books. You will see traditional grades, as well as new markers to identify items that are missing (indicated by the letter M) or items that did not demonstrate a satisfactory level of learning (indicated by NY for Not Yet). The markers do not contribute to a student’s final average. The grades entered are there for the purpose of providing feedback. When we get closer to the end of the school year, staff members will carefully examine grades to be sure that final grades entered for each course reflect a three-quarter average that includes additional work that HELPED the student and demonstrated greater proficiency with course content.
This presents a unique opportunity for students to engage in their learning and improve their academic standing. This is particularly important for students who have a failing average for the first three quarters. It is my hope that those students will demonstrate enough learning through additional opportunities to either earn credit by June of 2020 or be eligible for summer school.
Annual events, ceremonies
In other news, we have rescheduled the Junior/Senior Prom to June 18. It is my sincere hope that our students will be able to share that special evening together, in person. Other events are yet too far out to make decisive plans; however, I am pleased to share that we are working on a contingency plan for graduation, and there will be a graduation ceremony (either traditional or something new that conforms to any social distancing guidelines). For all events, our process will be to evaluate each event individually, postpone when necessary, and only cancel as a last resort. We continue to share information, and entertainment, with students via the Mohon Daily News, our YouTube channel, and my Twitter.
This remains a challenging time for all of us, but I am continually thinking about our students, and particularly our seniors. They have been short-changed by a situation that is out of our control, but it is disappointing nonetheless. I can only hope that they will grow from this experience in ways that matter: showing kindness, recognizing the importance of the little things, and seizing opportunity. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please share them either via email or by completing this form.