By JENNIKA INGRAM | Reporter
The Palisades Charter High School Board of Trustees conducted its second virtual meeting via Zoom on April 21—with 155 attendees and 26 panelists at its peak.
Before voting on proposed temporary changes to the school’s grading policy for spring 2020 in response to campus closures that now extend through summer, Principal Dr. Pam Magee offered a reflection.
“It has absolutely been an interesting year with everything from our charter renewal to evacuations and fires and now a pandemic,” Magee said. “I’m always so proud to be at Pali where with guts and grace, somehow our students and our teachers and our parents, everybody pulls together and we move forward. I’m thankful for all of those things.”
Magee started off the presentation to the board, explaining that the faculty wanted to share some of the background and progression toward the proposed temporary grading policy.
“PCHS has developed this temporary grading policy for eLearning in light of the extraordinary circumstance of the spring of 2020,” stated the revised document from the Pali High faculty meeting on April 17.
“In an attempt to balance the need to help those in crisis and to support our most vulnerable students, with the need to carry on a rigorous and relevant education for our engaged and high achieving student body; PCHS has developed the following policy.”
The proposed grading scale for the spring 2020 semester at Pali High is an A grade from 88 to 100%, B from 75 to 87%, C from 60 to 74% and D from 47 to 59%. Students will receive a No Credit (NC) with marks from 0 to 46%.
“It’s for spring 2020 only,” Magee reiterated at the meeting.
During the presentation, Assistant Principal Dr. Chris Lee stressed that in creating the grading policy, “We wanted to create as many opportunities for the kids to be as successful as possible.”
A notable change is that Pali High students will not receive Fs this semester, so a grade lower than 46% will not alter their GPA. Pali students will still have to repeat a course if they receive an NC so that they understand the material moving forward, Lee explained.
“If they get no credit, they will still have to make up that course,” Lee said.
Also stated in the changes: “Traditional final exams will not be given” and “a traditional final bell schedule will not be followed.”
Final assessment format changes were added to impress upon teachers that it’s not “business as usual” when it comes to instructions and assessments, Director of Academic Achievement Monica Iannessa shared. The policy also specifies what can be included in the final assessment.
All new assignments will be assigned by May 22, with classes ending June 3, so that the last two weeks can be reserved for presentations of final projects, grading, make-up work, one-on-one interventions for students in crisis, peer reviews, teacher feedback, grade conferences and extended time for IEP/504 students, according to the policy.
This grace period before courses end means students needing accommodations will have the opportunity for intervention.
Following the presentation, the Board of Trustees passed the motion to implement the proposed schoolwide PCHS Spring 2020 eLearning Grading Policy.
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