Students Voice Their Opinions On Updated Grading Policy

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, MISD implemented a new grading policy for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. This policy states that second-semester grades will not be included in the GPA and class rank calculations for the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes. This will also apply to middle schoolers taking high school credit-bearing courses such as Algebra 1, health or professional communications. Students hold varying opinions on how this affects them and their academic standings. 

Julia Dinh, 9

“I understand why only our first semester is being counted. It is what it is. We can’t really do anything about it. I am concerned for the rest of my high school years, though, because the first year is the most important year. Also, this situation wasn’t presented to us with a lot of detail, so I have a lot of questions.”

Avian Hines-Bell, 9

“For me, distance learning is not as enjoyable as I thought it would be because classes that I usually don’t have any homework for are giving me more work than my actual core classes. It’s really more stressful than I had hoped, but I get to sleep in so that is a plus. I’m glad this semester isn’t going to count because I was doing badly this semester and my fall semester was really good.”

Andrew Hanes, 9

“It’s nice knowing that I don’t have to stress about my grades and I can focus on learning long distance. Online learning hasn’t been bad. It’s just a weird transition to get used to.”

Averie James, 9

“I feel like it was a good idea not to count these grades in our GPA. The overall stress of being a freshman and having to deal with the COVID-19 quarantine has not allowed me to completely focus on my academic success. With so many distractions, it has been difficult to represent my abilities to the fullest.”

Rachel Atta-Fyn,10

“Distance learning hasn’t really been an issue for me. Personally, I’ve gotten more sleep than I had in the past semesters, and I haven’t allowed my time spent at home to get over my head. I have work with due dates, so it has allowed me to catch up on subjects/topics that I may have felt lost on. Knowing this work won’t count towards our rank could be discouraging to many sophomores and create excuses for not wanting to give the full effort that they would’ve if we were actually in school.”

Sydney Spivey, 10

“Knowing this semester is not counting, I’m kind of disappointed because this semester was supposed to be a redemption semester for me due to my lagging in the last semester. Although for other students I can see how this can be beneficial. But at the end of the day, it’s a double-edged sword.”

Jade Blount, 10

“I work hard to keep my grades up. When I have a bad grading period, I work even harder to compensate for the lower grades I’ve gotten. To be assigned schoolwork and know that it won’t be counted towards my GPA is disheartening at best. We should be rewarded for our work just as we would if we were still in brick and mortar school.”

Ruth Oyerokun, 10

“I understand and agree with the decision to discount this semester’s grades towards our GPA. Since we are all at home, we all have access to different resources, and also academic dishonesty is much more likely to happen under these circumstances due to a lack of accountability that comes from face-to-face instruction and administration of quizzes and tests. One thing I like about distance learning, though, is that I can learn on my own terms. I like being able to work at my own pace.”

Loyce Juiye, 11

“As a junior, I was really looking to increase my GPA and class rank this school year, so losing a semester was upsetting because now I’ve lost an entire semester to improve my grades and do better than I did the last semester, and all I have left is senior year.”

Kara Jonason, 11

“In a way, it is a relief because some online quizzes and tests are not graded exactly the same as teachers would grade in person. On the other hand, it allows for students to slack off but still pass and not worry about the number grade since it won’t go into our GPA and affect class rank. It leaves the last two semesters of high school for me to maintain my GPA and make sure it doesn’t drop.”

Alejandra Olvera, 11

“I can’t believe it, but I miss school. I’m not a fan of distance learning. I didn’t realize it while I was in school, but seeing friends and working with groups is definitely something I took for granted. Motivation is hard to find since this semester doesn’t affect our GPA. As a junior, this year has been difficult and it is kind of upsetting that these grades won’t go on my transcript with the hard work behind it.”

Tracy Adu, 12

“I was doing really well this semester. My grades were at their peak. I finally got a high A on a test in AP Statistics and all of a sudden this virus comes rolling in. However, this semester, I feel like, wasn’t going to affect my class rank like that because they technically lock at the beginning of senior year and it’s pretty hard to get up from where you’re at. So it is what it is.”

Hannah Reetz, 12

“I’m not upset about my GPA and class rank. Honestly, I’m pretty pleased with where I’m at. I’ve always been good at self-pacing and keeping track of my own things. I am pretty upset that I could’ve very well had said goodbye to Legacy without even knowing it when we left for spring break. I decided to graduate early knowing that I got the rest of the year to say goodbye. It’s sad that I have to cut it short knowing I already chopped off a year. I’m still going through with my plans, but I definitely hope I don’t look back and regret not getting those proper last goodbyes.”

Iyanna Nunn, 12

“The distance learning situation has completely changed the way I learn. I now have to teach myself the information. For instance, I am in college algebra, and I have to teach myself the entire lesson plan and take a test on that unit. I don’t get that face-to-face time with my professor so that I can actually understand what I’m learning. And the fact that only first semester grades will be included on our GPA is kind of upsetting to me because I did work hard during the fourth six weeks to get a few points up on my GPA. This bothers me because when it comes down to scholarships and getting money from colleges, the higher your rank and GPA you have, the more money you’re able to receive, so not including any part of this semester could make a difference in how much money someone could receive.”