Grades, homework not going away

Published 12:50 pm Saturday, September 17, 2016

Any Isle of Wight County public school students who might have heard that homework and grades are somehow being dropped are sadly misinformed.
There will be still be grades … and homework.
During the summer, Georgie D. Tyler and Smithfield middle schools discussed modifying the grading categories.
“The driving force behind this move is to more to project-based learning, and going away from common tests toward end of year,” said Lynn Briggs, spokeswoman. “Eliminating a test every nine weeks was proposed. For example, every eighth-grade math teacher would have given the same test, which is very inflexible. But now that’s no longer required. Instead, the assessment could be a project, an essay, a report or even a test, but at a time where it falls best.”
For example, when Nov. 3-4 rolls around, the end of first nine weeks, the students will still have to somehow demonstrate what they’ve learned and that will be assessed.
“We are not doing away with grades,” said Briggs.


Homework had always been its own category, said Briggs, five percent.
But sometimes, it’s been felt, the homework given was not really benefiting the students. Now teachers have more flexibility with their assignments and not requiring that there has to be homework for a grade.
“The change doesn’t mean there’s no longer homework,” she stressed. “It’s done more specific to the student and other assignments they’ll be doing.”
Briggs added that dual credit classes have been given more weight. They’re going to a full point (A=5.0, versus 4.0), which puts them in line for advanced placement classes.
In other business,
• Windsor High Schools seniors are scheduled to graduate a week in June. Originally, the date was set for Friday, June 16, but now it’s Friday, June 9, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. If closings caused by inclement weather this year should exceed any allotted snow days, the time would be taken from early release days.
•Several Smithfield seniors recently came before the school board regarding graduation. “We had some students who signed up to speak [during the recent meeting] regarding the Smithfield High School graduation venue. They said they didn’t want it to go offsite,” said Briggs. The date will be on June 12, but the location is still to be determined.