What about Grades?

By Dr. Terry Macaluso, Head of School

Grades are, perhaps, the most controversial topic in education—among educators, students, and families.  During the COVID-19 quarantine—which is taking place on a planetary scale, every secondary school and every college or university in the world is going through exactly the same thing.

The primary aim with EPSRemote is to replicate—as closely as possible—the quality and nature of the EPS experience.  Teachers are quite aware of the complexity of assigning grades—and that’s true whether or not we’re in the same room.  Teachers, themselves, are struggling with how best to assign grades.  In fact, this may be the most intensely conscious moment about grading that has taken place in recent memory.

When—in the next several months—transcripts are sent to colleges and universities, EPS transcripts will represent their actual achievements.  Students have worked hard to earn high grades—and they deserve credit.  Every student deserves the motivation that comes with realizing that when you do your best, you’re rewarded with a grade that reflects your achievements.  The reason for doing well and for taking full advantage of courses is NOT the grade; learning for the sake of learning is truly the worthiest of objectives.  In our “exchange society” culture, grades are the currency we use to communicate with colleges.  Students will be gratified to have maintained this consistency of assessment when presenting themselves to a community in which they hope to acquire membership.

Throughout our time under these stressful conditions, EPS has been and will be trying to maintain a school routine that feels familiar along with an educational experience that gets as close to “the way it used to be,” as we can.  At the same time, the world has changed, and it will take us some time to discover our next reality.  Education will, necessarily, be a part of that future, and what we’re learning from EPSRemote will continue to inform our thinking about the innovations waiting to be discovered.  In the days and weeks ahead, we will communicate about the ideas we’re considering as we anticipate both the ceremonial ending of 2019-2020, and the process of reopening over the course of August, 2020, and the weeks and months that will follow.

Thank you—to all our students and families—who are making the best of things, adapting willingly, and giving it your all.  You inspire all of us at EPS to do the same.

-Taken from the May 4, 2020 Community Briefing