ELIDA — The Elida school board decided Monday to cut a week and a half off the school year for students in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The board, meeting in a virtual special section Monday afternoon, decided to designate May 15 as the last day for students. Previously May 27 was the scheduled last day. Students have been learning online since mid-March.
Under the plan, unanimously approved by the school board, the last day students would receive new assignments would be Wednesday, May 13.
Teachers would continue to work through May 28 so they can finalize grades and undergo professional development during this time and it also gives them time to clean their classrooms out for the summer.
The school board also decided to tweak fourth-quarter grading for the district.
Students in elementary school, kindergarten through fourth grade, will receive grades of “outstanding,” “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” on their report cards.
Students in the middle school will still see letter grades.
“They would not be changed, other than we would extend the range for the grades and extend the lowest “D” down to 50%, just knowing that some kids really struggle with online learning, and it certainly isn’t ideal,” said Elida superintendent Joel Mengerink. “The only other kicker in this is that in the middle school, no student would receive a grade lower than their third-quarter grade, as long as they are putting forth the effort in trying to get their work done — that’s something that would be done at the teacher’s discretion as far as the grades go, whether they received the grade they earned or they received at least their third-quarter grade.”
Students in the high school will get the grades that they earn.
“The change to the high school would be that their overall grade would be calculated based on if their fourth-quarter grade was passing — they would get that grade moving forward. Now, if their grades were lower, we would not drop their end-of-the-year grade based on a fourth-quarter grade,” Mengerink said.
Mengerink added that middle school students that are taking high school classes in the middle school would follow the high school grading for that system.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.