Hasty changes to educational experience come at high cost

The Beacon Staff

For both students and teachers, the last few years have been marred by abrupt changes to our educational experience facilitated by DCPS, which have continued to impede the creation of a cohesive and reliable school environment.

The disconnect between DCPS and schools like ours is seen clearly in changes to scheduling and grading policies, which tend to uproot the routines of students and staff. 

In the last three years, Jackson-Reed students have had three different schedules.  From an 8-class schedule, to the 4×4 with asynchronous Wednesdays, and then the current, in-person version with A and B Fridays, students have experienced high school through a series of unfamiliar shifts. 

Grading policies have changed in a similar fashion, from zeroes and no makeups to a policy which gives a minimum 63 for an attempt on an assignment and up to an 86 for revised work. During the pandemic, grading policies changed by the hour, ultimately culminating in the decision that a student’s grade in any class couldn’t go down from their grade on 3/13/2020. While pandemic adjustments are warranted, the constant shifts, especially coming from DCPS, leave students regularly confused and exasperated trying to navigate the logistics and expectations of school life. 

As it stands, the burden of relaying information and enforcing policies most often falls on teachers. Throughout these excessive and hasty changes the burden has only increased for teachers, as they have to redesign their course every year around a new set of parameters. Students pay the price, too, for these frequent and deeply impactful changes. Modifications need sufficient merit in order for their inherent, costly disruptions to be justifiable.

In order for Jackson-Reed to function optimally, day to day schedules, rules, and policies are in dire need of some consistency. •