Message From the Linda H. Storli – President William S. Hart Board Graduation 2020 Will Be Remembered!
2020 This school year has been different than any other. When I look at the years that I went to school as well as those years I taught school and now as the President of the Hart School Board – this year is different. Yes, different, filled with fear, anxiety, sadness, apprehension and the unknown. We began the 19/20 school year building Wellness Centers, then came the fires, the tragedy at Saugus and now this virus. We needed to move fast. We were the top 1% of the school districts in the country to move to distance learning. School lunches were provided. Counselors kept counseling and teachers kept teaching, Students kept learning. I was so proud.
Then, like jumping from an airplane; satisfying when you first step out, then the realization that the ground is fast approaching! The ground in this case was finals, grades, and graduation? How were teachers going to give finals, how were grades to be calculated and what about GRADUATION? We had so many good suggestions. First the finals. NO FINALS.
Next the grades, a harder piece of this mess. Pass/Fail? No grades? Keep the grades that were earned before March? Grades for Graduating Seniors? Finally, we agreed on the following: A=A B=B C=C D=Credit F=No Credit Students can choose to take a credit even if they have earned an A, B or C (keep the GPA high). Teachers are being encouraged to be flexible and use grace during this very unusual time. We informed teachers that they are not tied to traditional percentage grading scales. There is a flexible finish line in place. From May 22 to June 4, teachers are encouraged to help those students that are not quite there to get across that line.
GRADUATION. This brings me to tears. I loved being a graduate. I loved teaching graduates. I loved handing out diplomas to graduates. Thank again for the suggestions. We decided. First and foremost, this is NOT either-or. We will have virtual graduations. Each school will plan their own way to accomplish these. Students have their caps and gowns! AND we will be working diligently to plan a celebration (in person) towards the end of summer for each school.
Our community has done great things for seniors. Students and parents have held each other together emotionally and are looking forward to their very special graduation ceremonies. Graduation 2020 will be remembered! We are becoming 2020 STRONG.
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