MCPS rolls out new mid-year regulations, allowing zeros to return to gradebooks

Jan. 26, 2024, 3:13 p.m. | By Silvan Unger | 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Incomplete or missing work can now receive below 50%

Incomplete or missing work can now receive below 50%.

Starting in the second semester, students can now receive zeros on assignments they do not attempt. However, the 50% rule still stands: As long as students attempt assignments, they will receive at least 50% credit. The new regulation only addresses missing or incomplete work. According to the new grading and reporting regulations, “If the student does not turn in the assignment after support and intervention, the teacher may change [the assignment] to a final grade level of zero.” 

Previously, teachers were only able to grant zeroes through an extended and tedious process of parent/guardian communication that teachers often did not elect to undertake. The “support and intervention” clause essentially gives teachers the opportunity to grant a zero without the parent/guardian communication requirement.

Peter Ostrander is Blair’s Magnet Coordinator and a member of its Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), which is is tasked with implementing the county’s regulations. Ostrander explains that they still expect teacher-parent communication. “We still think it’s important for teachers to try to reach out to home when students are missing assignments.” he said.

Schools have discretion on how to interpret the regulation. Even within Blair, different departments are interpreting the rule differently. 

On Monday, Jan 22, the Montgomery County Teachers Association (MCEA), sent out an email to all MCPS teachers detailing their resistance against the new MCPS policy. “MCEA demanded that no one be disciplined by MCPS for lack of compliance, to which the [county] agreed.” They have also negotiated with the county to take a second look at the regulations after they role out for the second semester of this year. 

Last updated: Jan. 26, 2024, 3:15 p.m.

Silvan Unger. What's up! I'm Silvan [he/him], and I'm a writer for SCO. In my free time, I enjoy wrestling, white water kayaking, serving as class president, and theater. If you know any card games, I promise you I will beat you in all of them More »

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