Dist 117 Finalizes Grade Plan for Remote Learning

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 17, 2020 at 11:45am

Jacksonville School District #117 has finalized their grading plan for remote learning during the stay at home order.

Superintendent of Schools Steve Ptacek communicated the plan to parents in the district via email and social media yesterday. In his letter, Ptacek says District 117 is confident remote learning will not harm student grades.

Ptacek says the district is following the Illinois State Board of Education’s guidance on grading, including a focus on reinforcing a deeper understanding of the most important learning objectives, instead of introducing new material during remote learning.

During the current semester, all grades will be pass or fail, and students who are in danger of receiving a failing grade will have the opportunity to improve to passing by providing a mastery of the objectives reviewed during remote learning.

Kindergarten though second grade students will receive scores of either meeting standards, or not meeting standards.

Second semester grades will not be used by the district in calculating grade point averages for high school students. Ptacek says an explanation note will be added to student transcripts explaining the remote learning grade situation.

Ptacek says the district has students in drastically different learning abilities and situations during the closure, and the grading plan of highlighting knowledge over grades during the pandemic is the most equitable approach with so many variables in student ability levels.

Ptacek says students should focus on gaining a better understanding of foundational learning objectives, instead of stressing on points earned or grades achieved during this unprecedented ordeal.