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Letter from Mr. Polomis: March 31st Update

Dear Families,

 

As we know, we are under a “Safer at Home” order that is to run through April 30th. Given the circumstances, it’s entirely possible that this date could change. However, there is one thing that will not change: our commitment to our students. 


We want to share information with you regarding what this next phase of the COVID-19 shutdown will look like for your child in regards to grading and continuity of instruction. 


Grading

For grades JK-1, teachers will use their grading system (i.e. proficient, developing, beginning) based upon student performance on the last day of student attendance (March 12) and enter that as a semester grade.


For Grades 2-12, a pass/no pass grading system will be used. 3rd quarter grades will not be posted; the pass/no pass will be cumulatively determined by work completed during 2nd semester.


  • Pass/no pass will freeze GPA as it stands after 1st semester. 2nd semester pass/no pass grades will not impact GPA.


Exception: Students who are enrolled in transcribed or Start College Now courses with NWTC (or other post-secondary schools)  will continue to receive letter grades. Also, if requested, students can receive a letter grade if it’s required for their college transcripts (Note: Most colleges are going to a pass/no pass format during this time as well.) 


Grading Scale Definitions

Pass: Student has met or exceeded minimum proficiency levels for identified essential learning targets (standards). A grade of D- or higher is passing.


No Pass: Student has not met minimum proficiency levels for identified essential learning targets (standards). Every effort has been made to ensure that students have received feedback and opportunity to demonstrate mastery of standards.  


Please note: A student who receives a “no pass” will not earn credit. If a high school student receives a “no pass”, it could impact meeting graduation requirements. 


Grading Scale Rationale

There are several reasons the district has determined this grading approach is most reasonable during the COVID-19 shutdown: 


  • The most vulnerable students in school settings remain the most vulnerable students in

distance learning settings.


  • Protecting the academic progress and advancement of all students who are negatively impacted by access and opportunity gaps requires a shift in grading practices.


  • Determination of a pass/no pass standard of grading can be made more effectively in a distance learning setting - especially given the novelty of online feedback and assessment practices.


  • A pass/no pass model preserves credit attainment for students and makes no adjustments to graduation requirements.


  • Pass/no pass will freeze GPA as it stands after the 1st  semester. 2nd semester pass/no pass grades will not impact GPA.


At the high school level, final exams will not be held. If we are back in school when final exams occur, those dates will be used for teaching and learning purposes. 


Learning Plans

With hardly any notice, our staff put together learning plans that provided educational opportunities for our students through April 6th. And, now while the Governor has stated school is closed through April 30th, we need to maintain, or advance, the academic skills of our students.    


Our aim is to create an effective learning plan for our students to sustain/advance their current level of learning. Starting Monday, April 6th, parents and students can easily locate learning plans in the Student Safety section of the District website at https://www.coleman.k12.wi.us/student-safety-86524831. Each Learning Plan will use grade-level/subject and then  narrow down to specific teachers or courses. This will be a good resource for parents as we bridge our partnership during the pandemic. 


Packet Drop Off and Pick-Up

On Monday, April 6th from 7 am to 5 pm, there will be an opportunity for families to drop off and pick up materials. If you are unable to do so, another adult can pick up the work for your family. All pick up and drop off, regardless of grade, will take place on the elementary side. In order to comply with CDC guidelines, we are asking you to remain in your car.  A staff member will come to you.


Those students in grades 2-12 who are turning in work  from the first three weeks of distance learning will drop off materials at the Cougar Lobby/Gymnasium Entrance.  We ask that each student’s returned work is placed in a bag clearly labeled with his or her name and grade.   Please note: classwork turned in this way may not be returned; teachers can provide feedback through a phone call or email.  


In addition, while at the Cougar Lobby/Gymnasium Entrance, staff will ask for your child’s name and grade before you move on to the Elementary/Middle School office doors. Then, packet pick-up for families of students in Junior Kindergarten through 2nd grade, as well as those  who also requested this format, will occur where the signage states “Coleman School District.”  


If you did not originally request a paper packet for your middle or high school student but need one, please call the office before Monday so arrangements can be made.


Finally, a couple of notes moving forward:


To support your child during distance learning, please: 

  • Encourage  them to begin their work at a fairly consistent time each day,  if possible. 

  • Encourage  your child’s participation in any virtual learning (Goggle Meet with teacher/class).

  • Having them show you their completed work at the end of each day. (You can refer to the learning plans created by teachers.)

  • Promote brief breaks if needed, especially if they experience frustration.

  • Help students understand that this is not a vacation. School is continuing, just in a different format. 


Also, our food service continues to provide free breakfast and lunch to any child under 18 in your household. It’s not too late to sign-up. If you would like meals to be delivered to your house, please call the District Office at (920) 897-4011. 


Thank you for your partnership in education as we transition to distance learning to help keep our community healthy and safe.

Yours in education,

Douglas Polomis


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