Updates on grading and attendance procedures

Dear Students and Families,

I hope your week is off to a good start. Please see below for information about several topics:

  • OPRF QuaranTEEN Meetup
  • Grading practices
  • Revised attendance procedure

QuaranTEEN Meetup
If you’re a student feeling bored, stressed, lonely, etc., join our new QuaranTEEN Meetup via Google Meet. During this weekly hangout, Huskies can swap stories and learn how to cope with this new “normal.” To join, contact the social worker on your Pupil Support Services team to let them know you’re interested.

Grading practices
As we continue to work through various processes related to our Remote Learning Days, we have some additional information about our grading practices during this time. Below are answers to several frequently asked questions:  

What is the timeline for making up Incomplete grades?
Any Incompletes will need to be resolved within nine school weeks of when they were assigned, or by the end of quarter one next fall. 

At what point will the use of an “NC” (No Count) grade be appropriate?
NC grades will not be given during Remote Learning. The only grades students can earn are A, B, C, D, or Incomplete. Any unresolved Incomplete grades will default to an NC at the end of quarter one next fall. 

The Illinois State Board of Education guidelines state that a student’s grade cannot be negatively affected as long as the student remains “continuously engaged and performs at a passing level.” What criteria will we use to determine if a student is “continually engaged and performing at a passing level”?
In a live, face-to-face classroom, a teacher can measure student engagement by eye contact, posture, questioning, physical activity, taking notes, etc.  In a remote learning environment, student engagement is extremely difficult to gauge.  

Our priority now is to ensure that our students continue to learn and grow throughout the semester.  Despite the remote learning environment, OPRFHS has a responsibility to continue to provide meaningful education for students while recognizing the barriers of the online environment and the unprecedented factors of our current situation. 

In an effort to provide clarity  about what this means for our students and teachers, the following guidelines should be followed: 

  • “Submitting work at a passing level” is defined as earning a D or higher, provided that engagement efforts by the student have been satisfied. If at the end of the semester, students have a grade that is  below passing, teachers should use Incomplete, instead of an F.  
  • Students who are “continuously engaged” may look different from course to course. However, in general students should make clear, regular efforts to respond to their teacher. This includes:
    • Checking in on whatever learning platform is being used
    • Completing formative and summative assessments. (Formative assessments are tools such as quizzes, assignments, and homework that are given throughout a learning unit to help teachers see how a student is progressing. Summative assessments, such as final tests or projects, evaluate what a student learned from the complete unit of instruction.)
    • Answering  questions posed by the teacher. A student may be in danger of earning an Incomplete if the student does not regularly complete formative assessments, fails to complete a summative assessment, does not engage via the approved platform for more than three consecutive days, and/or does not respond to requests for participation by the teacher. If a teacher is concerned about a student’s engagement, the counselor, parent, and/or social worker should be contacted as soon as possible. 

These guidelines are intended to be an overview of what “engagement” means for teachers and students at OPRF.  We recognize that engagement may involve barriers that are different from those we find in a classroom setting and that adjustments must be made to accommodate for those barriers.  However, it is critical to maintain an educational environment for all students, and these accountability factors will help make the semester grade meaningful.

Our essential goal is to support our students and families while maintaining the integrity of the learning environment and grading system as we navigate this extremely challenging situation together.

Revised attendance procedure
After receiving feedback that a more streamlined process for tracking student attendance would be helpful, we’ve created the process below. PLEASE NOTE: Families will still receive a robocall if a student is absent, but not until the day after the absence occurred.

  1. Starting on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, students need to complete this required attendance form on EACH Remote Learning Day.  Completing this form marks you present daily for all periods.  It is important that you complete your attendance between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to ensure that you are counted as present. 
  2. Head to your first class using Google Classroom. If your teacher does not use Google Classroom, navigate to whatever platform they use to provide assignments, class information, etc.
  3. Access your assignments through Google Classroom, email, or other preferred platforms, just as you would while present in school. All lessons and assignments will be posted by 9:00 a.m. on Remote Learning Days. 
  4. Complete the day's assignments and submit them through Google Classroom or other preferred platforms for all of your classes. Assignment deadlines may vary based on your teacher's discretion so please read your assignments carefully.

Repeat steps 1-4 for each Remote Learning Day that is in session.

Take care and be well,

Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams
Superintendent