Chris Ford
Update Message to 9th, 10th and 11th Grade Students and Families

Dear Students,

We hope you are continuing to find a value in our distance learning program and connecting with your colleagues and teachers.  I truly appreciate the energy and commitment you are bringing to your school work in this very challenging time.

You may have heard this afternoon's announcement, made by the Maryland state superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon. She announced that schools in Maryland will be closed through the end of the school year.

We are continuing the plans we shared with you (on April 20)about scoring your work and developing your year-end grade. That said, BCPS is continuing to adjust its program in an effort to better serve you.

To recap the situation based on messaging from April 20, 2020:
  • Your work in Quarters 1 thru 3 will be averaged to develop your year-end grade in each class. Your year-end grade won’t go lower than this average.
  • Teachers are presenting on-line content and assignments on a weekly basis. 
  • For academic classes that would normally meet all week long (in the normal situation), you have 2 weekly assignments or grades. For classes with fewer normal meetings, you may have only one weekly assignment.
  • At the conclusion of the 4th quarter, your work will be translated into “bonus points” that will be added to the average of your Quarter 1 to 3 grades. BSA Rubric Attached below.

That all stays the same.

The adjustment made this week is in the way your engagement and contacts are recorded. 

Teachers will now record your engagement in Infinite Campus (from April 6 forward) with a mark of:
  • “0” meaning no contact, no work completion and/or no accurate and thorough completion
  • “1” meaning contacts, work completion or accurate/thorough completion as determined by your teacher

These scores will be averaged and, at the conclusion of the 4th quarter, that average will be used to determine the number (if any) of bonus points added to your year-end grade

The rubric for the determination of those points for grades 9, 10 & 11 is this:
  • 0 points             0-19% completion of distance learning assignments
  • 2 points           20-39% completion of distance learning assignments
  • 4 points           40-79% completion of distance learning assignments
  • 6 points           80% or more completion of distance learning assignments

End of the year schedule for students in grades 9, 10 & 11
We do not yet have a schedule for the end of the year, but we do know that there will be no final exams or juries.
Arts classes for students in grades 9, 10 & 11 will conclude on May 29. We do not yet know when academic classes will conclude, but hope to share that with you very soon.

and Now for Something Completely Different
While you may well be too busy to add anything else, I thought this might be interesting for some. This is an online course that originated at Yale and has become one of the most popular courses on campus and off. It's called "The Science of Well-Being" or the Happiness Course. It's currently free through Coursers if you don't want the certificate. If that sounds interesting, take a look & join the 2,000,000 other people who are enrolled.

I truly appreciate everyone's flexibility and good will as we do our best to continue serving you. Don't hesitate to reach out if anything in this message raises questions.

I will be sending the rubric for 6 bonus points on separate email. 

All the best,
Chris Ford