New grading policy goes into effect at NNHS


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A new grading policy has been implemented at Naperville North this year with updated and standardized rules surrounding late work and extra credit.

The approach is multifaceted; one of the notable components is that summative work cannot be penalized by more than 10% for a late submission, as long as it is turned in by the end of the next unit. Along with this, any completed work cannot receive less than a 50% in the grade book and extra credit is no longer permitted. The policy aims to make grades more closely aligned with learning, according to NNHS Principal Jay Wachtel.

“When things like extra credit and late work are significantly impacting their grades, that’s not really about the learning,” said Wachtel.

The grading approach was implemented on a district level, with collaborative teams helping to draft it. The extent to which this policy will impact students will be largely individual depending on their typical school-related behaviors, as senior Tanner Child explained.

“It doesn’t sound like it’s going to make that big of a difference for most people. I feel like people usually turn in their assignments on time and don’t really get zeros on assignments anyway,” said Child.

The policy has the potential for a negative consequence when applied school-wide, as sophomore Gabi Ursu expressed.  

“It could increase the amount of late work that students turn in, depending on the work ethic and values of the students,” Ursu said.

A surge in late work seems to be one of the main concerns, especially because the policy would be altering one of the main motivating factors for students to get work in on time.

“I think if kids know that their assignments are already late, then they won’t have any pressure to turn it in as fast as they can,” Child said.

The fact that many students are unaware of this policy could also play a major role in its impact. Junior Bill Zheng thinks this is an important factor to consider.

“The main thing I’m concerned about with this is how many people know about it. I didn’t explicitly know that this is a new policy, so I’m very uncertain about how many people across our school know that this exists,” Zheng said.

If an instance of a teacher not abiding by the policy was brought to the school administration’s attention, Wachtel made it clear that it would not be allowed to occur.

“To the extent that there’s maximums and minimums in the percentages written into the policy, teachers have some flexibility there. Otherwise, if they didn’t abide by the policy, we’d correct it. We wouldn’t allow it,” Wachtel said.

Although this school year’s new grading policy was written with the aim of making grades more reflective of a student’s mastery of standards, the full scope of consequences is not yet completely clear.

“I think this will be good for students,” Ursu said.