I write on the last day of "April Vacation," and what a vacation it was. I mean, sometimes doing the same thing every day is a good thing. For example, I have been lucky in my life to enjoy a vacation getaway when all the days seem to blend together. They might look something like this.
Monday: Wake up, exercise, shower, eat, go to the pool, eat, nap, go to the beach, shower, go to dinner. Tuesday-Saturday: Rinse & repeat. "April Vacation" 2020 did share one similarity and that is routine.
Monday: Wake-up, exercise, shower, eat, Zoom Meeting, read depressing news, Zoom Meeting, eat, eat a little more, walk Gus, yell at Gus for eating the furniture, bothering Darwin, eating my shoes, my socks, the baseboard; Zoom meeting, eat, shower, put on same clothes, play a board game, watch Netflix, read, go to bed.
Tuesday - Friday: Rinse & Repeat.
|My dog Gus. He is a big fan of the quarantine and a fan of doing everything a good dog does not do!|
If nothing else, the American story is one of progress; not linear, but circuitous progress marked by long periods of prosperity derailed periodically by depression, war, and disease. Woven into our DNA is a perpetual desire for more, and the past two centuries largely met our appetite with an abundance of plenty. Perhaps a positive bi-product of this dreadful pandemic is a greater appreciation for life's simple pleasures that have been worn down and dulled by prosperity.
Going out to dinner, seeing a movie in theaters, or stopping for an ice cream cone will be appreciated more as a result of this. Visiting with friends, family, watching sports, a great concert, or a play will no longer be taken for granted and will likely be more fulfilling.
By and large, we are all grateful for our second home at CCHS, but I think we will all return more grateful for all that it means to our daily routine and lives. Wishing you and your family nothing but good health during this difficult time.
Michael J. Mastrullo
Last Days of School & Graduation
Grades 9-12: 6/18
We have started the process of planning for Graduation. I will share information as it becomes available. Further, there will be no final exams this year.
Why is the plan for Q3 grades and why is CCHS moving to a Pass / No credit option for the 2nd semester of the 2019-2020 school year?
There was thoughtful consideration on the issue of grades. We wanted to be fair and not cause unnecessary stress during a time characterized by enormous stress. Considering we were six weeks into quarter 3, we initially gave students the option for a letter grade or a pass/fail for the third marking period. When we provided this choice the prospect of returning to school this academic year was still an option. Governor Baker has closed schools for the year, so we need to pivot slightly.
For Q3, some students chose a letter grade and some chose pass/fail. Allowing that to remain would create a discrepancy in transcripts and require students who chose "pass" to explain to college admissions why they have a pass/fail in quarter 3. That seems unfair.
There is another side to this dilemma. Students who performed well in quarter 3 want that grade factored as it boosts their grade, so forcing them to accept a pass for quarter 3 seems unfair. The compromise addresses both of these dilemmas.
Students who chose a letter grade for quarter 3 will receive this benefit in their semester I grade; however, all students will have a pass in quarter 3.
Lastly, by issuing a semester I letter grade and a semester II pass/no credit, it allows for GPAs to be calculated fairly. Humanities courses are semester-based, so making all classes in the 3rd and 4th quarters a semester class (regardless if they are full-year or not) will level the GPA playing field regardless if a class is a full-year or half-year. The graph below explains this far better than my narrative.
The decision for pass/no credit for the second semester is in-line with Massachusetts schools, DESE recommendations, and feedback from colleges. Standard grading systems are designed for normal times and these are anything but normal times. Supporting students academically and focusing on their emotional and mental wellness is the priority. A Pass / No Credit grading system for the 2020 spring semester will help alleviate some of the stress that the uncertainty has caused not just for our students, parents, teachers, and staff.
In a previous blog, I shared information from college admissions offices. I share one from Stanford as well.
Stanford reassures prospective students for 2021-22 academic year of flexible, holistic admissions process | Stanford News
We put forward two options for office hours and Option B was the favored choice. This will begin on Monday.