Some NJ schools abandon traditional grading because of remote learning
With parents suddenly thrust into the role of co-teacher during the pandemic, or students being left to their own devices while household adults try to do their own jobs, some New Jersey schools are making it easier to students to pass.
With the statewide stay-home executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy in place until further notice, some public school districts still have been issuing paper packets for lessons or downloaded materials.
In Edison, there's still a fourth marking period, but elementary students will
not receive traditional grades, according to the township public schools website. Instead, grades 1-5 "will be evaluated on a rubric based on completion of the remote learning assignments."
Edison middle and high school students will be graded differently for the third marking period, which ended April 3. The final quarter will be graded on past practices.
For the six high schools that make up the Freehold Regional High School district, there's a new grading system based on the remote learning switchover since mid-March, according to Superintendent Chuck Sampson.
“We continue to prioritize flexibility for our families while ensuring our students face no educational harm during this extended closure," Sampson said.
The district includes nearly 11,000 students in grades 9-12 from Colts Neck, Freehold Township, Freehold, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro. Grades for the final marking period for Freehold Regional will be determined based on these guidelines:
— Students who "actively engage in learning by completing and submitting the majority of assignments and responding to teacher feedback" will receive an A for the final marking period.
— Students whose Marking Period 4 grades calculate to an A+, still will receive an A+
— A "D" will be earned for the final marking period by students "who do not actively engage in learning by not completing and submitting the majority of assignments and not responding to teacher feedback."
— Students faced with "extenuating circumstances" will write to their teachers about what makes them unable to actively engage or complete and submit the majority of assignments for the final marking period. Where appropriate and with principal approval, an "incomplete" will be assigned, with the opportunity to make up work at a later date.
In Ocean County, the Toms River Regional School Board approved a resolution May 6 to modify grading amid the continued pandemic. As reported by Toms River Patch, a pass-fail option can be offered to township intermediate and high school students for the fourth marking period.
Old Bridge has opted for a "pass/fail" grade for all township public schools, grades K—12 for the fourth marking period, according to a report by Asbury Park Press. The same report cites schools Superintendent David Cittadino saying that remote learning made it difficult to "conventionally" assess students.
As reported by NJ.com, Verona public schools made the decision early on during remote learning to switch to a pass/fail model of grading for the remainder of this school year.
As of Tuesday, two of the state's largest public school districts, Newark and Elizabeth, had made no mention on their respective websites of revamped grading for the final marking period.
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