Dear District 86 Community, 

We want to thank everyone who has contacted us about the plan for grading e-learning assignments while our schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many of you have shared, the state’s direction/guidance on this topic has been somewhat vague, contradictory and confusing. 

Our district’s original plan for e-learning was to create an online environment that would model what occurs in the classroom and enable our teachers to assess student growth. That plan took a dramatic turn due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. In response to these unprecedented events, our teachers worked tirelessly to revise our plan to help ensure that our students remain engaged in learning while our schools are closed. 

As for how the e-learning assignments will be graded, the work students complete during the time we are scheduled to be closed (March 16-April 5) will not affect their semester grade. Instead, this work will ensure that there is a continuity of learning when in-person instruction resumes, and help prepare our students for unit assessments, final exams, AP testing, and their college and career choices.

With this in mind, we encourage our students to focus their time, effort and energy during this time on learning the content. While teachers will enter scores for the assignments as a means for measuring and communicating student growth and progress, please keep the following in mind: 

  • The weight of each e-learning assignment will be 0 (zero). Doing this will prevent a student’s grade from being penalized regardless of the score entered into the gradebook. 
  • Teachers will input an incomplete (INC) in the gradebook for any work that is not completed. This will alert teachers to a possible gap in learning, and help them differentiate instruction when in-person classes resume. 
  • The scores will help parents/guardians to stay informed about the progress their students are making in each of their courses. 

Please note that current letter grades in every course during the time we are scheduled to be closed will remain unchanged. Should the closure be extended beyond the state-mandated date of March 30, we will provide you with an update on our plan/process for issuing grades. We will also keep you apprised of any new information or updates we receive from the state. 

We understand what a difficult and challenging time this is for all of you, and appreciate the resiliency and resolve you have shown in the face of this crisis. With that said, we strongly encourage all of our students to continue advocating for themselves, and contact teachers, counselors or social workers if they have any questions or concerns.  

Sincerely,

Arwen Pokorny Lyp and Bill Walsh
District 86 Principals