New late work policy implemented in some classrooms

Laaiba Mahmood, Managing Editor, Opinions Columnist

A new school-wide policy regarding late work has been suggested to teachers to be implemented this year.

Jackie Thornton, Assistant Principal of Curriculum, along with other school administrators, suggested that teachers adopt this policy in their classrooms.

“Mr. Weisbrook and I met with teachers during the institute day at the end of the school year last year and on our first day this year and were encouraging teachers to consider penalties for late work that is not an academic penalty,” Thornton said.

The suggested practice aims to move away from academically penalizing students who turn summative work in late, which is considered a behavioral issue.

“Some teachers are already practicing this in their classrooms and don’t implement an academic penalty for late work,” Thornton said. “There are other members of our faculty who feel that the teaching of timeliness and meeting deadlines is important and that, perhaps, an academic penalty is a consequence that goes along with teaching those skills.”

The suggested policy came as a shock to math teacher Lisa Gebbie.

“I was very surprised to hear this new thing because normally when there’s something brand new happening at the school they give us a year warning,” Gebbie said. “I was shocked to hear but I thought it was an interesting idea [and] I’m curious to see how it will work.”

As for whether she will enforce the policy in her classes, it will depend on each individual student’s situation.

“I think if there are situations where I have students struggling in class, they’re not performing well on tests but they’re also not doing their homework [then] I would use this,” Gebbie said. “But if students are doing typically what they should be doing I don’t think its necessary.”

For now, the policy remains optional for teachers to choose to utilize or not, but as a district-wide shift from letter grade to standards based grading may mean the policy will become standardized.

“What I anticipate is there being a district wide team of teachers and administrators that makes decisions about practices that will be implemented,” Thornton said. “But for now we really don’t have a policy about it.”