MONROE, CT — Acting Superintendent of Schools Joseph Kobza says students’ grade point averages will be calculated using grades from the first three periods of the year and distance learning in the fourth quarter will be graded in a pass/fail system.
Kobza said colleges understand the grading for distance learning will be an anomaly, because school buildings were forced to close to promote social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Colleges know the whole country is going through this,” he told Board of Education members at a meeting held remotely Monday night. “One hundred and sixty nine towns are doing 169 different things.”
Monroe’s public schools started distance learning on March 23. Kobza said there are way more variables with distance learning than in a classroom setting. He said teachers are working hard to keep their classes engaged in learning. adding another challenge is some students’ families are impacted by COVID-19.
The grading system educators have chosen for the fourth quarter is pass, fail, incomplete and passed with distinction.
Masuk High School Principal Jacob Greenwood expressed his support for the pass/fail system.
Jeff Fulchino, a school board member, said he was concerned that some students will not be as engaged in a pass/fail system as they would striving for a high letter grade.
Kobza said he likes having a “pass with distinction” grade, because it recognizes students who have gone above and beyond at a trying time.
Greenwood said students are working hard toward their credits.
Chairwoman Donna Lane said, “I wish this state commissioner of education came out and said, ‘this is what we’re going to do for the fourth quarter,’ instead of 169 boards of education doing their own thing. It would have been a lot easier.”