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Update from Dr. Baker about distance learning, grading

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

It’s hard to believe we have been in distance learning since Monday, April 6. During this time, we have seen stories of staff members called to serve in new ways. We’ve seen students and teachers demonstrate incredible creativity to continue learning and working at home. Through cumbersome Zoom meetings with children and pets and thousands of meals prepared and delivered, immeasurable work has been accomplished during this strange time. And through it all, I’ve never been more proud to be a Centaur. We have an incredible community here in BC. 

Reflecting on distance learning

Students, staff members and families have shown flexibility and patience to continue learning while at home during a pandemic. While this has not been the most ideal environment or set of circumstances for learning to take place, we identified two main goals at the beginning of distance learning:

  • Continue the routine of learning for every student
  • Maintain the connection to the school community

My hope is that we’ve been able to do both of these things for each of you, however, we can always improve. Thank you for your grace and understanding while our staff members have adapted to meet your needs.

We’ve also received so many generous donations from partners that we were able to provide a device for every student in our district. I am so thankful for the outpouring of support we’ve received to increase access to technology and community resources for all BC families. 

Assessment during distance learning

Looking forward, I want to provide an update about what students and families can expect to see for end of year grades. We received guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education to update our grading practices so that we hold students harmless who experienced significant challenges during distance learning. We need to minimize the potential of long-term negative impacts for students because of circumstances well out of their control -- out of anyone’s control. 

We will assess students based on their age group, as follows:

Elementary (grades K-5)

Students will receive an overall subject grade on the report card for each subject that reflects student proficiency as of March 15, 2020.

  • Teachers have a significant amount of information about student achievement in each subject area prior to the shift to distance learning
  • Report cards reflecting student achievement prior to distance learning allow that information to be conveyed to families while also ensuring that the report card marks do not reflect the inequities of distance learning

Middle and high school (grades 6-12)

All final grades will be submitted as Pass (P) or Pass No Credit (PN).

  • Pass/Pass No Credit grade reporting reduces the potential of long-term negative impact as a result of distance learning by holding this period of time as GPA neutral
  • Students may request a transcript change adjusting their final letter grade from P/PN to the A-F scale if there are extenuating circumstances that require it. All requests for this change should be submitted to the building principal for review.

If you have questions about assessment during distance learning, please contact your building principal or program lead in the below section. 

Thank you, BC community, for standing front and center for our students and each other. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Carly Baker, superintendent
Brooklyn Center Community Schools

Principal and program leads

Earle Brown Elementary (grades K-5)
Jeff Wilson, principal
jwilson@bccs286.org

Brooklyn Center Middle and High School (grades 6-12)
Josh Fraser, principal
jfraser@bccs286.org

Early College Academy 
Constance Robinson, principal
crobinson@bccs286.org 

Special Education
Deirdra Yarbro
dyarbro@bccs286.org