Dear Grades 6-12 Families,
Governor Cuomo recently announced that all school districts in New York State will remain closed through May 15, as part of his extension of the statewide PAUSE to help protect the public against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This means that the earliest we would be back in school is Monday, May 18 unless there’s another extension. We will maintain the continuation of learning, meal distribution and childcare for essential workers without disruption. The use of vacation days and emergency days for the 180-day waiver remains the same.
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Hudson City School District continues to monitor the situation and adjust our plans to meet state regulations and continue serving all students. At this time, we are providing you with additional information regarding our distance learning program, grading, upcoming events (such as Graduation, Prom and award ceremonies), as well as information regarding placement exams for Honor and AP courses.
In Grades 6-12, students should expect to receive 30-40 minutes of work daily for each class. For JHS students, that is approximately 2-2.5 hours per week for classes that usually meet every day and 1-1.5 hours per week for classes that usually meet every other day. For HHS students, that is approximately 2-2.5 hours per week per class.
The teachers spent the last week revising their curriculum to focus on and prioritize essential skills and topics. The district’s goal is to deliver new information to students in a variety of formats. The staff was provided with resources and tools such as ScreenCastify and Google Meet, just to name a couple. Students can expect to receive frequent feedback from their teachers on their progress in each course. Parents are encouraged to contact teachers via email to check the progress of their students (see the Staff Directory for email addresses). If you haven’t already done so, please ask the teacher to add you to the Google classroom weekly summary report. Parents can also expect to receive midterm reports the week of May 18th.
For additional information and at-home learning resources, visit our home learning webpage.
A number of parents have asked about grading. To be clear, teachers were provided guidance that if an assignment was submitted during the 3rd quarter while students were learning online, and if the grade on that assignment helped the student’s overall average, that assignment could be graded and be counted. We want to ensure that students are rewarded for their efforts and accomplishments in completing/submitting online work during this period of school closings.
To continue holding high standards for instruction and student learning while navigating our extended school closure, we developed the following grading guidance. This guidance will outline key decisions that support compassionate and careful grading of student remote learning assignments. This guidance is for use during our school closure. Should we return to school during the 19-20 school year, the adopted grading policy may be reenacted.
Marking Period 4
- Avg. – Q1 through 3 and midterms – Q4 should BENEFIT student grades (Compassionate Grading has been recommended to all staff*)
Evidence of Learning = Student has demonstrated learning of essential curriculum based on what was taught and assigned.
Not Yet Learned = Student has not completed assignment, or work completed does not yet demonstrate learning of essential curriculum. Students will be given the opportunity to redo and resubmit work to demonstrate learning.
*Assignments will be graded with a level of understanding of each unique challenge the student faces in remote learning. This is critical for our ENL, 504, and classified students, in particular. While students might have similar Chromebooks, they do not have similar home, connectivity and support situations. Compassion and care are vital for our students to be ready to move on to our next school year.
Teachers will continue to grade student work during the 4th quarter and provide students and parents with relevant feedback on the work that is submitted. Teachers have been encouraged to be flexible and to modify expectations when appropriate to err on the side of the child. Please know that the Parent Portal for eSchool has not yet been activated for the 4th quarter.
Guidance on Regents Examinations
One significant factor that affects final grade point averages is Regents Examination scores. On April 6, it was announced that June 2020 Regents exams are canceled. We are following this guidance issued by the New York State Education Department:
- Students who earn a passing grade in a current course ending in a Regents exam will be exempt from taking the exam and the requirement to pass the exam as a diploma requirement.
- Students who do not earn a passing grade in the course ending in a Regents exam will need to make up the course to earn credit.
- Students previously enrolled in a course leading to an applicable Regents examination who achieved course credit, but have not yet passed the associated Regents examination and intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score will be exempted from the exam and the requirement to pass the exam as a diploma requirement.
- Exemptions will count towards students’ diploma designation (Regents, Advanced Regents, etc.)
- Students in LOTE (Language Other than English) classes that have received 3 passing credits in the language class will be exempted from their checkpoint B exam and the requirement to pass this exam for diploma requirements.
Honors/Acceleration Qualifying Exams
The qualifying exams for the placement of high school students in honors and accelerated courses have been canceled. Teachers will make recommendations based on students’ past performance for:
- 9th Grade AP World History Exam
- 9H English Exam
- Math Acceleration
- Science Acceleration
Information on how junior high students can submit letters of interest to be considered for accelerated Math and Science courses will be sent to JHS parents and students next week.
At this time, Advanced Placement (AP) Exams have been rescheduled to May 11-22 and they will be administered online at home or in schools (if they were to re-open by that time). Parents and students can expect to receive further information from their child’s teacher, the guidance office, and the AP test center. If you are concerned that you will not have internet access or an electronic device to complete the exam please contact Mr. LaCasse at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr. Payne at email@example.com.
Additional information and online resources, including lessons, are available at the College Board website.
2019-20 AP Exam Information
- Exams will be given from May 11–22. View the full testing schedule.
- Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1–5.
- Students can take exams at home or in schools (if they were to re-open by that time).
- Each subject’s exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.
- The exam content will focus on what most schools were able to complete by early March.
- Students will be able to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. They’ll be able to type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phones.
- For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long, plus an additional 5 minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to get set up.
- On March 25, the College Board began offering free live AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. The courses have been viewed more than 3.2 million times since they became available.
- The College Board knows that not all students have access to the internet or a device. They are working on solutions to help students get what they need to show their best work. If you need mobile tools or connectivity or know someone who does, you can contact them directly.
- The exams will be secure. The College Board is using a variety of digital security tools, including plagiarism detection software.
JHS and HHS Spring Events & Activities
All events scheduled through May have been postponed or canceled. Hudson High School and the Junior High School are taking a proactive approach and exploring alternatives to our Senior and 8th grade events just in case schools are ordered to remain closed until the end of June. At this point, the district has not canceled these events permanently but we want to be prepared in the event that another school closure extension occurs and in some cases prevent families from incurring unnecessary expenses.
The administration will continue working with students, staff, and teachers to explore options and alternatives for our traditional Spring celebrations. We also encourage parents to email any suggestions for HHS senior events to firstname.lastname@example.org and suggestions for JHS 8th grade events to email@example.com.
Please know that we are sensitive to the importance of these student events and we will do everything possible to have them continue in some form. For example, some type of graduation celebration will be held, even if districts are ordered to remain closed for the rest of the school year and large group events are not permitted. All options will be explored, including ideas from staff, students and parents.
For a list of postponed/canceled events & activities visit: Spring Events Postponed/Canceled
Thank you for your dedication to your child’s education and continued support of our schools.
Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier
Superintendent of Schools
Download this letter as a PDF