1.23.16. WEEK END UPDATE

GRADING COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

After 20 months of work, surveying and talking with students, faculty, parents, peer schools and universities where we regularly send students, and considering possibilities ranging from no change to coming up with something radically new, the Grading Committee has winnowed down a myriad of possibilities and settled on the final version of the new grading system. Please remember that this information should NOT be released to students yet as it is not final, and that any input at this stage should be a specific concern or suggestion about the wording or the numbering. The representative on the Committee from your department will circulate the new system if he/she has not done so already.


Please remember that any grade system is a form of compromise in some way. The primary focus of the Grading Committee was to develop a new system that includes more grades so that teachers could more easily differentiate between student performance at various levels, and to craft new descriptors that accurately describe performance at each level, so that, collectively, we will all embrace and implement the new system more fully. Essentially, the new system breaks our current top three grades - HH, H and HP - into six grades - HH+, HH, H+, H, HP+ and HP. P remains unchanged. The numerical equivalents and the GPA calculation factors are included on the description as well. Based upon faculty input/desire (along with student and parent anxiety over change), the new grade names remain similar to our current grade names


If you have specific thoughts or questions about the proposed changes, please speak with the Grading Committee representative from your department. The Committee will give this new system a final review next Thursday, and then forward it to the Rector and academic department heads for approval.


Grading Committee: Alisa Barnard, Kevin Brooks (co-chair), Julie Cepiel, Lucie Eckersall, Theresa Gerardo-Gettens, Anny Jones, Chris Morse, Tim Pratt, Ryan Samuels, Lawrence Smith (co-chair), Nick White.

PROGRESS REPORTS

Progress Reports are due by 3:15 on Thursday (January 21.) Full time classroom teachers who would like to cancel classes during one day to write these should notify their department heads of their intent. Please take advantage of this practice if you need it. Remember that Progress Reports are part of an ongoing conversation with each student, and should not contain grade summaries, boiler plate about the course, or be addressed to parents or advisors. Please include, where appropriate, suggestions for the student about what he/she might do for the rest of the term to improve their learning in your course.

STUDENT FEEDABCK

Remember that the Feedback Committee developed guidelines last year whereby teachers are to solicit feedback in some form from their students in every course at least twice before the end of the term feedback/course evaluation. Please notify your department head when you do this. Teachers in their term of OPL review should use the electronic OPL midterm feedback form; anyone else is free to use it as well and should let Scott Morin know if you would like to do so.

C.I.T. USE

Many of you continue to sign up and use the CIT space, and we encourage any and all the rest of you to try it out! We continue to build the "suggested uses" document which can be found on the CIT Canvas page. In addition, we are posting video clips of different teachers using the space in a variety of ways on the Canvas page - Melissa has created a link so you can see them. If you would like to sign up for the space, check the CIT Canvas page for availability, and then let Cynthia or anyone else in the Office of Academic Affairs know which period you'd like to use it and we will sign you up.

REMINDERS, HEADS UP AND COMING EVENTS

Monday, Jan.18 - MLK Day, special schedule

Tuesday, Jan.19 - Advisee dinners

Thursday, Jan.21 - Progress Reports submitted by 3:15

- Advisee dinners

Friday, Jan.22 - Progress Reports proofed by 3:15

Saturday, Jan.23 - Progress Reports corrected by 12:30

Monday, Jan.25 - Progress Reports available to students and parents

Wednesday, Jan.27 - Midterm grades submitted by 12:30

Thursday, Jan.28 - Parents and students can see midterm grades online

Friday, Jan.29 - Special schedule. Mid-Winter recess begins after a student's last commitment

Friday, Jan.29/Monday, Feb.1 - Mid-Winter Recess

AND FINALLY...

We end with three pieces from the Edutopia web page:


Metacognition. In this piece the authors explain that by teaching stduents to "drive their own brain" through metacognition, we provide a concrete way to guide the new to think about how they can best learn.

Metacognition: The Gift That Keeps Giving


Mindfulness. Mindfulness practice can help educators slow down and work and teach in a way that is anchored in joy and compassion. See Kate if you would like to learn more.

Just Breathe: When Teachers Practice Mindfulness



Student Centered Classrooms. Answer these questions to guide you in reflecting on how the learning environment you have designed promotes student voice and choice.

How Student Centered Is Your Classroom?

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR PROGRESS REPORTS AND GRADING!

The C.I.T. Team: Alisa, Kate, Lawrence, Melissa, and Nick