Bright and early, Township High School District 2-11 kicked off the 2012-2013 school year on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
An institute day, the halls and classrooms were clear of students on Wednesday afternoon. The first day of the new school year is a day for teachers to prepare for the flood of students set to arrive the following day for the first day of classes.
With no students in class, teachers learned about two new systems that will be used for the first time this year.
The first, Infinite Campus is a whole new way of taking attendance and recording grades that will help keep parents informed and up to date with their student’s activity in the classroom. D-211 purchased Infinite Campus system for the 2012-2012 school year to provide parents with enhanced communication with teachers regarding student grades and homework assignments.
The district sent each parent and/or guardian a unique activation key in the mail. The activation key is used to set up an account so parents can access the parent portal. There, parents can monitor their student’s grades, attendance and progress in class.
Once school starts, each student will also get a unique activation key for the student portal. Parents are advised to not share their activation key code with their student(s).
The second system is the Mastery Manager, a web based tool teachers use to measure the standards-based learning progress of their students in real time. The system collects and evaluates students’ grades to give teachers an in-depth look at the effectiveness of their instruction and the areas in which students need more help.
Teachers also discussed a few different grading options for the new school year. Traditionally, schools use a 100-point scale to grade student work, in which grades are based on percentages. While some teachers may decide to stick with the 100-point scale, they now have a couple different options to choose from.
The 12-point grading scale converts all letter grades to a 12-point scale.
This scale allows students to recover from a few bad grades, so if a student gets a zero on a homework assignment or a quiz, he or she still has a chance to do well in the course.
The four-point scale is a lot like the 4.0 scale used to calculate grade-point averages. The scale is matched up with an A, B, C, D system, there is no pluses or minuses in this scale.
The schools recommend teachers use whatever system they believe will work best for their students. It’s up to the individual teachers to decide but many of the departments made the decision as a whole, so grading scales for the department or subject will be consistent.