WPS Communication to Parents Regarding Standards-Based Grading Changes
The following communication was sent to Weston High School families this afternoon. If you are not a Weston high school family, you may not care. Or as the Owlets say (and you all know this by now, right?), no one cares. Actually, I do care. And I have plenty of editorial comment to make but will refrain until a later date when I have time to perfect my humor-filled lines with allusions to Spinal Tap and my own childhood (and yes, my brother and I did indeed share a Cutlass Supreme, as mentioned in a prior post).
More information coming soon in a summative way, and incidentally “summative” is one of my least favorite words along with adorable and moist. I quite like “detritus” but am having trouble using it in a sentence at the moment. I also prefer “foci” to “focuses” but that’s neither here nor there.
Away to the officialese:
Dear WHS families,
As many of you have already heard, Weston High School and Weston Middle School are piloting two of
standards-based grading practices this year. Dr. Carter presented this pilot and its two focuses to the School
Committee on 9/20, click here for slides. The two standards based grading practices we are piloting this year are:
- Using calibrated 0-4 grading scales instead of 0-100, using the same point range for every letter grade
- Allowing students who are not yet proficient in an essential skill or understanding to retake all or part of
a summative assessment without penalty
In addition, some concern has centered on homework as part of the overall grade. In our move toward
standards-based grading, some teachers had begun adopting grading guidelines that do not count homework as part of the overall grade. That standards-based grading practice is supported by many educational experts.
However, as a district, not counting homework as part of a student’s grade is a step that we are not ready to
take. We are expecting all teachers to count homework as a small part of a student’s overall grade, just as we
have done in the past. Our teachers will continue to assign and assess homework in accordance with our
district’s homework guidelines. Please understand that some teachers and teacher teams will need some time to adjust and calibrate to these grading practices.
If you would like to learn more about grading scales, retakes, and homework, please join us for a parent forum
on Friday September 30th, 9:00 a.m., in the High School Auditorium. We will be livestreaming the forum for
those who cannot attend in person, and a link to that will be posted later this week. We hope to see you there!
Dr. Midge Connolly, Superintendent
Dr. Kimo Carter, Asst. Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
Paul Peri, High School Principal