District announces changes to midterms

By Farrah Fasse, Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 7, following backlash from many in the Grosse Pointe community, Grosse Pointe Public Schools announced changes to midterm exams in light of COVID-related absences and stress. 

Traditionally, semester grades are calculated with each quarter weighing 40%, and the exam weighing 20% of the final grade. This year, midterm exams will only be factored into students’ final grades if they are higher than the combined averages for first and second quarter. However, if a student’s average grade is higher with the exam than the combined quarter average, their midterm score will be factored into their final grade for the semester. 

Additionally, students who are out of school for a COVID-19 related reason during Jan. 18-21, whether it be due to a positive case or close contact quarantine, will not be required to take midterm exams upon their return to school. Semester grades of students with COVID-19 related absences who do not take exams will be calculated using solely their first and second quarter grades.

A message from Superintendent Jon Dean sent out in the early afternoon on Jan. 7 stated that there were a multitude of factors that went into the decision to not have exams count against students’ final grades. Dean says that the plan recognizes the effects that COVID-19 continues to have on learning with absences and stress, while still giving students the opportunity to raise their grades with the midterm, and the experience of taking a semester exam. The plan will also not interfere with any exam preparation students or teachers have thus far completed. 

“We are beginning a new year and ending a semester while continuing to navigate the additional challenges and stresses posed by this pandemic,” Dean said. “In listening to the voices of students, teachers and parents, I believe we landed on a solution that balances the social, emotional and academic needs of our students while keeping our focus on equity in curriculum, assessment and student learning.”

In listening to the voices of students, teachers and parents, I believe we landed on a solution that balances the social, emotional and academic needs of our students while keeping our focus on equity in curriculum, assessment and student learning. ”

— Dr. Jon Dean, Superintendent