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Revisiting the Grading Policy

Competency-based learning has once again impacted Newfound Regional High School’s grading system with a change this summer that states teachers cannot deduct points from late summative assignments. Keeping the students in mind, Principal Paul Hoiriis states, “No grading system is perfect. We are always looking to improve the system to benefit both students and teachers.”

In previous years, each teacher had their own grading policy for late work. This made it very confusing for students to keep track of, and changed the incentive to do work in different classes. Since competency-based grading is about students understanding the material, deducting points from a late assignment does not reflect the student’s true understanding of the material. Therefore, the NRHS grading policy change was made.

During the summer of 2017, teachers and administrators sat down to discuss any policies they’d like to change about grading. Taking competency grading into perspective, they decided to revamp the NRHS grading policy and eliminate deducting points for late work..

Newfound Regional High School Student, Mikayla Royea, has seen most of her teachers this year using the new grading policy already. “Although it takes away incentives for some students to turn in their work on time, I appreciate not having to worry about points be deducted if I am very busy and need an extra day on an assignment. Students are being graded on what they understand, and I think that’s important.”

Although the grading policy is beneficial, students may also be missing the extrinsic motivation  that the old grading policy gave them. Even though students were penalized for disciplinary reasons, the deducted points gave students a reason to want to turn in their work on time. Teachers have been instructed to create stricter deadlines and not accept work submitted later than that date. This will help gives those students the incentive that they desire. The new grading policy has both positives and negatives. Even though some may think this system is slightly flawed, it is still giving students an equal opportunity to learn.

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