Students and staff adjust to new late grade policy


Benjamin Prengler

Psychology teacher Elyse Hall is one of many teachers who will say say goodbye to the campus at the end of this school year.

Hannah Ortega, Staff Reporter

With the second six weeks now over, everybody on campus has had time to adjust to this year’s revised late grade policy. Considering late work a behavioral problem, not an academic issue, students can no longer lose points for late work, but instead face a behavioral punishment from teachers, usually in the form of before or after school work.

“I require students to come in to tutorials and get the work done,” Algebra II teacher Deneen Christian said.

The philosophy behind the change is an attempt to correct a policy that punished students academically for an action that wasn’t related to cognitive ability.

“We want to address behavior, but that shouldn’t be a part of students’ score,” Principal Chris Mayfield said. “If students struggle with turning in work on time, that would be the discipline part or the organization part where an assistant principal could come along [or] a teacher could come along and help them put some structures in place or provide some accountability. If you don’t do it then students could go to Thursday Night School or something like that, but that doesn’t really say whether or not they understand pre-calculus.”

Although most teachers understand the philosophy behind the revision, there are some drawbacks to the policy.

“I’ve had seniors take advantage of the new policy. Not many though, one or two, I guess because they’re not into the habit and it’s a new thing, they don’t think about it very much,” Spanish teacher Mallin Hernandez said. “Juniors and seniors are my AP classes, so we do a lot of essays and things like that, so they get behind and turn it in a day or two late, but seniors are not into the habit of turning things in super late, like six or seven weeks after. They turn it in one or two days late.”

Others haven’t had problems with the new policy.

“So far the new policy has been working really well,” English teacher Amanda Arriaga said. “I think a lot of the students haven’t caught onto the fact that there are no deductions for late work so they’re still turning everything in on time. For the most part students want to keep up and turn things in on time anyway because it just gets overwhelming when you get behind.”

With different opinions across the spectrum over the new late work policy and other factors to consider, the policy is likely to change with time.

“I do think it’ll be a dynamic and changing system,” Mayfield said. “I think that’s the kind of thing that as teachers learn more skills and strategies to help students get work in on time and as students get accustomed to being prompted and gets set in those structures that it’ll get better. I also think that it’ll change year to year because every year brings new challenges so new students, new challenges, that’ll always be apart of it.”