Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Letter to Parents

Summer 2016

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our current understanding of how our students learn and the increasing individualization of pathways to high school completion under Vermont Act 77 - Flexible Pathways requires Hazen to analyze its grading and reporting.  Students, parents, teachers, administrators, and future evaluators of Hazen transcripts all need Hazen Union’s grading and reporting system to clearly, accurately, and consistently communicate individual student achievement of high-quality universal learning targets.

The percentage-based A-F grading system does not serve these needs for any of the system’s users and is based on a model of education from the 20th century. That grading system is better for sorting students than for helping them learn and improve, and it is prone to subjectivity, error, and bias. Furthermore, it impedes clear and accurate communication about what students can actually do.  It masks student proficiency behind attendance, effort, behavior, and extra-activities.  Finally, It has resulted in credit toward graduation being granted in cases where student summative performances do not demonstrate proficiency or even near-proficiency in some or even all learning targets. It is time to move away from this outdated grading and reporting system.

At Hazen, we are electing to replace this old system with a grading and reporting system that facilitates conversations about student learning and growth. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, our grading and reporting will be based on a four point scale that measures student progress towards learning outcomes, reported alongside information about their demonstrated academic habits. We are in the process of scheduling opportunities for school community forums so that we can discuss what questions students, parents, and guardians might have. Please see our FAQ enclosed with this letter and be on the lookout for more information later in the summer.


Michael D. Moriarty Ed.D. John C. Craig M.Ed.
Principal Associate Principal