Hardin County Schools: What the shutdown means for grading, advancement and continuing education

With Hardin County Schools closing prematurely due to the public health crisis posed by COVID-19, school officials outlined how grading, grade advancement and online and distance education will continue.
For elementary students, Supervisor of Elementary Education Jeremy Davis said the county’s five elementary schools completed the first three of four nine-week grading periods before the shutdown.
For this year, Davis said, individual grades will be given based on an average of the grades over the three nine-week periods completed.
Regarding the question of retention for students who may need to be held back a grade, he said if a teacher or parent recommends holding a student back a year, a conference will be scheduled between that child’s parent, teacher, and school principal. Any decisions to retain a student in a grade for another year must, for this upcoming year, be unanimous.
“If a teacher recommends retaining a student, the parent and principal have to agree. If a parent asks that their child be held back, the teacher and principal have to agree,” Davis said.
For high school, Supervisor of Secondary Education Greg Wyatt said high school students also finished three of four quarters of the school year, but because high school goes on semesters, the third quarter grades for students will serve as the semester grade. There will be no end of course or other testing for what would otherwise remain of the school year.
Regarding students who may have not been passing, they are being given what is called a “credit recovery” opportunity. Beginning next week, students who are in danger of failing a course will have the opportunity to be given a work-at-home packet that will allow them to at least get to a 70 for that course, which is a D, but a passing grade and gives them credit for the class.
Wyatt noted the packets are made up by individual teachers and cover coursework that has already been covered in class, and those who have difficulty completing the packet work can contact their teachers for help.
“It’s not a ‘gotcha’ – we’re giving these kids a chance to at least catch up to their peers, and show they have learned what’s already been gone over this year. They’re not in front of the teacher, so it wouldn’t be fair to expect them to learn new material,” Wyatt said.
All students who are in danger of not passing – thus not receiving credit for the semester – have already been contacted and advised of the situation, Wyatt said. The credit recovery packets must be completed and returned by May 15 to take advantage of the program and receive credit for the class.
For the remainder of the scheduled school year ending May 22, elementary and secondary teachers will be required to contact students or their parents at least once a week starting Monday with lesson suggestions or to answer questions. Other than credit recovery work-at-home packets at the high school, these lessons won’t be required or graded.
Davis said this serves several functions: it can help kids advance educationally, it can keep kids inquisitive and sharp, prevent “backsliding” which is often seen over the summer months, keep kids minds active, and help children emotionally deal with the abrupt separation from teachers with whom they’ve bonded.
Davis said he wants to see as much direct interaction between teachers and students as possible, but noted some children may be too young to effectively use social or other distance media, or that parents may have reservations about social media use.
The method of contact a teacher uses to help students are up to individual school administrators and teachers, but parents with questions or requests for a different method can call their child’s principal at their school’s main number.
Online educational resources are also available on the Hardin County Schools web site at www.hardincoschools.com under the “Information Regarding Coronovirus” banner, and on the individual school websites as well. Those resources will remain available at least throughout the summer.

1 Comment

  1. Mary Huggins on April 17, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    I didn’t see what is going to happen with the HCMS. I have two kids in middle school and both are passing but I don’t see where this addressed them

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