Grading practices during e-learning clarified

Megan Krok, Copy Editor

As the Coronavirus has left schools all across the country to shut down, many students have been left with lots of questions and concerns about what the future of their education holds. One of the biggest questions right now is how students’ assignments will be graded through remote learning. Luckily, the Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) has laid out a plan for schools to follow during this time of uncertainty.

Before March 29, ISBE stated that student work should not be graded. However, that has since changed. Now, ISBE is recommending that a student’s work can be graded, but may only be used to help raise a student’s grade, not negatively impact it. With this, a student’s grade may fluctuate, however it should not drop down an entire letter grade. For example, a student’s grade may fluctuate between a B+ and a B-, but should not drop down to a C.

ISBE clarified that “Schools may allow students work to count during the closure only to increase a student’s academic standing.” ISBE also made it clear within its recommendations that schools should have continued learning opportunities for their students as districts are working to “minimize instructional loss.”

ISBE also encouraged that schools make sure students and family are met with routine, structure, and flexibility during remote learning. Joliet Township Superintendent Dr. Karla Guseman made it apparent in an email to staff and families within Joliet Township to highlight ISBE’s goals of providing emotional support to students at this time. Students can be faced with challenges at home that may build up stress in their lives, and grades may only make this stress more severe.

“Grading should focus on the continuation of learning and prioritize the connectedness and care for students and staff,” the state board wrote on their website. They clarified that students should be given the opportunity to make up, redo, and show progress on work given during remote learning.

If you would like to offer your feedback for remote learning with JTHS, be sure to complete this Remote Learning survey for students here or for parents here.