In response to the remote learning requirements imposed on Winnacunnet, Principal William McGowan announced a new grading system will take effect for third trimester final grades only. There won’t be any more E’s, and students can get as low as a 25 to get a C.
The new scale equates the traditional PowerSchool calculated average, which will not be calculated differently, to the reported grade.With the new scale, a 0-24 in PowerSchool will be incomplete, 25-50 will be a C, 51-75 will be a C, and 76-95 will be an A. Grades between 96 and 100 in PowerSchool will be reported as is. For linked trimester classes, this new grade will factor into the yearlong average.
“We started looking at this probably a week or two after we started remote learning, because we knew that what we were doing for remote learning was not going to be a replication of the school day,” McGowan said. “We wanted to make sure that those students that maybe didn’t have all the support at home, that they didn’t, in the first few weeks of remote learning, fall so far behind that they give up.”
Upon hearing of the changes to the grading system, students had mixed reactions. Junior Samantha Primavera said that she is not in favor of the new system, and pointed out that, in many classes, coursework is not changing dramatically.
“I don’t like it because it’s basically saying that kids who worked very hard in classes the last two trimesters that got a certain grade are getting lower grades than those that are getting that same grade this trimester,” Primavera said. “For example, I took courses on VLACS and I was graded the same way for my online courses than my regular ones. I didn’t do better or worse because of it.”
McGowan said he hopes students who normally do well will continue to despite the new grading guidelines.
“I just hope that everybody works as hard as they can,” McGowan said. “With the new grading scale, students that are clearly ‘A plus’ students, so we wanted to recognize that, so if your average is above 95, you would maintain that average. The goal was to not negatively affect anybody.”
Sophomore Vania Ramadhan said she is in favor of the new grading system.
“Without a real school environment, kids can’t get the same resources the would regularly have like aides and stuff, plus everyone has a different home life so it’s not fair to make assumptions about what they can and can’t do at home,” Ramadhan said. “If the price to pay for struggling kids to pass classes is a few freeloaders I’m 100 percent willing to pay it myself.”
In the April 9 email, McGowan said the goal of the accommodation system is to be as fair as possible.
“We recognize that we cannot completely replicate the learning that would occur in a school day,” McGowan said in the email. “We also wanted to make sure that the grading is equitable for all students, non-punitive and supportive to the students, and is consistent with the challenges of the current situation.”
McGowan also said that administration is currently working with teachers to come up with a plan for finals, because remote learning will continue for the rest of the year.