Friday, January 24, 2014

An unfair F

A couple of days ago, Jennifer was super late coming out of the school building after school was let out. She was kept after school for 20 minutes, actually, and it wasn’t because of detention. I asked her to explain what had happened and was a little angry by her answer.

By way of explaining, I will copy and paste an email I sent to the school about it:

“Yesterday, Jennifer was kept 20 minutes after school in her last class. When she finally emerged from the school, I asked her about what happened. To put it mildly, I was very troubled and a little angry after Jennifer explained to me what happened. Apparently, Jennifer has been placed into a Robotics class for her last class, and this was done without consulting either myself or her father. If we had known, we would have asked for an alternative. Robotics is not really Jennifer's thing and not something she is interested in, either. She told me she hates this class. Well, what happened was that yesterday, she was teamed up with a student who ended up sabotaging the assignment they were given. Jennifer was forced to try to fix it, put it all back together, all by herself and, of course, she was not able to because she didn't know how. She might as well have been asked to perform brain surgery! Because of this, the teacher gave her an F.

Jennifer was very upset and her dad and I are also upset. We feel she was wrongfully given this F and she did not deserve to be put into this situation. The whole thing is unfair.

Jennifer does strive to do well in school. Grades are important and we always work with her in areas she is struggling in at school. However, when it comes to an elective, I feel there should be a little more leeway as well as some feedback from a student's parents on what classes are available.

Please let me know if you or someone on staff will look into this. Please consider removing Jennifer from that class. I would be most interested in talking with the teacher myself and asking him/her to reconsider the grade. Perhaps Jennifer can do some extra credit instead of having the F on her record.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your reply.”

Yep, you read that right. They placed Jennifer into a class that not only does she NOT have any interest in but also not exactly a knack for. If I had known they wanted to put Jennifer into a Robotics class, I would have requested an alternative class. But what really set me off was the F! I felt that was unfair, given the situation. (But life is unfair, right??)

Well, two people responded on this issue: The registrar and the teacher. I got some really good feedback on this situation and we managed to talk it out. Apparently, the Robotics class is a part of some kind of “rotation system” the school is using to introduce students to classes they may not otherwise understand and decide not to take. That’s fine. What bothered me, though, was a student given a failing grade in this class, and this grade counting towards their final grade for the school year! (This is what I found out when we discussed this further.) It makes more sense to give the students a grade that does NOT affect their final grade if it’s a class that is not required for completion.

Well, I got an email from the teacher today and it’s been decided that Jennifer can complete two assignments and, if she does well on those, her grade will go up. What a relief!

I still don’t understand why they grade students on these rotation classes but I am just glad this was resolved and we can do something to fix the bad grade that she was given.


Millie said...

I am relieved that you contacted the school. I hope that they keep this in mind for the future now!

Dawn Colclasure said...

Me, too. Though I doubt it. :/