November 5, 2020
Course Assessments of Learning vs. Traditional Semester Exams 
After a semester of engaging in learning, we believe that it is important to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of our course-specific learning targets and expectations. 

We recognize that students have had a variety of experiences navigating remote learning and a major shift to the ways we have asked them to learn. Yet, and still, it is important for us to capture where each student is with their acquisition of course knowledge and skills that we find essential. This information will also support us in determining the extent that we need to engage efforts focused on remediation. 

This year, all students will take course assessments of learning for their classes. The assessments are intended for students to synthesize, demonstrate, and/or reflect on learning from the semester. Unlike traditional semester exams which usually count for 20% of a student’s semester grade, assessments of learning will not count for more than 10% of a student’s semester grade. 
Additionally, all assessments will be administered and/or completed virtually during the time frame indicated in the assessment schedule (see above). Since no students will have more than two course assessments on a given day, there is no need for requests for altered times. Students are expected to engage during the time outlined in the schedule. 

Extended Time Accommodations
If a student has extended time accommodations and needs additional time following the exam period, the teacher will notify the Special Education Department or 504 Coordinator to determine a follow-up time for the student to complete the assessment. This should take place during the following time frame:
  • Monday – Wednesday IEP/504 only time slots
  • Make-up assessment times on Thursday or Friday

When possible, teachers also have the option to monitor extended time with students. 

Teacher Work Day
  • December 18th is a Teacher Work Day and an assessment make-up day for pre-approved students. 

Week Before Assessment Week and After Break
  • All teachers have been asked not to give grade-bearing tests or high-stake assessments on December 9th, 10th, or 11th for any reason. 
  • Teachers have also been asked not to assign work over break that is due the week following break. 

Work During Break
With assessments occurring prior to Winter Break, students should not be given coursework (homework/projects) to complete over the break. Of course, a student can choose to review or work ahead, etc., but students should not be expected to complete work that must be submitted during or immediately upon returning from break. 

If a student is missing work or is behind in meeting the expectations for a course, a plan for work completion can/should be developed between the student and teacher. This can include completing missing work or revising work over break. It is hard to catch up when behind, and it is also difficult to gain traction as additional work is added. For students who are looking for any glimpse of light or a recovery opportunity, a break is often that time for them. Teachers and students are able to work together to develop these types of plans. 

Closing Powerschool
Powerschool will not be accessible (closed) for students and parents starting at 4pm on December 18th through January 5th. It will reopen on January 6th, which is the first day of the second semester. 

First semester assessment grades will be entered into Powerschool no later than January 11th.

Finishing the Semester Strong
Students are encouraged to collaborate with teachers regarding additional opportunities to demonstrate learning throughout the semester. Students and parents are encouraged to monitor academic progress and teachers are expected to communicate concerns regarding learning and growth with parents. 

While we want all students to maintain learning and to stay current with assignments and coursework, in the case that this has not fully occurred, students are encouraged to discuss options for improvement directly with their teachers. Students may also reach out to their guidance counselors for support.

Teachers have always been encouraged to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate learning. Opportunities may include:
  • Quiz/test retakes and/or corrections
  • Ability to submit late or missing assignments (removal of zeros)
  • Completion of alternative assessments
  • Extended deadlines on assignments 

As we near the end of the first semester, students are encouraged to take advantage of the various supports offered at LFHS immediately.