Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Toronto school board says high school students won’t be affected by low grades in January

The Toronto District School Board says the policy was implemented because students faced conflicts as they transitioned into and out of virtual learning.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Students and experts say they are happy that Canada’s largest school board will not allow low grades to affect the scores of high-school students in the final stages of the first semester of this academic year, as the period is affected by the latest wave of COVID-19. was interrupted. 19.

In a note sent to parents late Thursday, the Toronto District School Board said final scores for high-school students would reflect only the work they did — as of December 17th — on the last school day before winter break. Final assignments being completed by students in January will only count if the results have a positive impact on a student’s grade.

“This means that the marks of a student will not fall as a result of the end of the semester assessment,” the letter said.

The board said the policy was implemented as students faced transitions in and out of virtual learning, and to address the possibility of increased absenteeism due to the Omicron version of COVID-19.

“The students have already completed almost 90 percent of the semester,” said TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird. “By ensuring that marks do not fall below pre-winter-break levels, we are ensuring that this indefinite period of distance learning time combined with an increasing number of COVID-19-related absences and isolation periods is does not negatively affect the final scores. ,

Ontario school boards warn of possible last-minute class cancellations during COVID-19 surge

Ontario schools grapple with staff shortages ahead of reopening Monday as Omicron spreads

In-person learning will resume in Ontario on Monday, after the provincial government shifted to online teaching following a spike in COVID-19 cases during the winter holidays.

Meanwhile, the District School Board of Niagara said teachers can use their discretion when it comes to how this semester affects an overall grade.

“To the District School Board of Niagara, work submitted by students in January will be considered in their final grade; However, teachers are encouraged to consider an individual student’s needs, unique circumstances, and how a student has performed their learning throughout the semester,” said Carolyn Loconte, a spokeswoman for DSBN.

Professor Stephanie Chitpin of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education said TDSB’s policy is mandated to ensure that students are not negatively affected by their mental health and situations that are beyond their control.

“We place great emphasis on assessment in terms of final grades, but I think we need to focus on the well-being of our students,” said Professor Chitpin, who has worked as a school principal in the past. ,

“We can’t assess students’ mental health at the expense of them.”

He added that supporting students during this period would be more beneficial in the long run than pushing for final assignments or exams.

Maya Raff, a 16-year-old high-school student at Northern Secondary School in Toronto, said she was relieved when she learned of the TDSB’s decision.

She’s working on two final projects for each of her courses, and said the rules will allow her to breathe and prioritize which assignments are most important to her.

She said that managing the last-minute switch between virtual and in-person learning was stressful, especially at the end of a semester.

“I am fine virtual and in person,” Ms Raff said.

“But switching back and forth really throws off your whole schedule quickly, and once you get used to one and go back to the other, the assignment requirements change, so it really It’s annoying.”

However, the class 11 student is also worried about what her first exam experience will be like after the pandemic is over.

“I’ve never taken a test in my life,” said Ms. Raff. “So I don’t know what it’s like to remember everything you do all year on a stressful exam.”

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