Letter from the Superintendent – May 15, 2020

Dear Families,

As we make our way through the fourth marking period, I wanted to remind everyone of the changes we have made to our grading practices during the COVID-19 health crisis. Our message since the beginning of remote instruction has been, “Do what you can, but don’t stop trying.” Our usual grading practices are not appropriate for these challenging circumstances, and our teachers and administrators have devised a system that is.

While our buildings may be closed, it is still expected that our Johnstown students complete learning activities and assignments posted in their Google Classrooms. Assignments completed through Google Classroom will be used in determining fourth quarter and final grades. We will not use numeric grades, but will instead apply the following in Grades 3-12:

  • 4 – Exceeds Mastery (EM)
  • 3 – Mastery of the Learning Standards (MA)
  • 2 – Meets the Learning Standards (MS)
  • 1 – Partially Meets the Learning Standards (PS)

Grades K-2 and K-6 Special Areas (Music, PE, and Art) will use the following grading scale for quarter 4:

  • 3 – Satisfactory (S)
  • 2 – Needs Improvement (N)
  • 1 – Unsatisfactory (U)

Please note that no “+” or “-” will be used to report final grades for quarter 4 or for progress reports.  The normal reporting codes will be used for progress reports to denote student progress this quarter.

These unprecedented societal conditions call for flexibility in our instruction, assessment and
evaluation practices. The above plan was created as a result of the collaboration of teacher leaders and administrators devoted to providing a fair and equitable grading process for the students of the Greater Johnstown School District. Questions can be directed to any principal.

The last day of school for students this year will be Monday, June 15.  You will receive notices from your school principal regarding the end of the year activities, celebrations, and procedures to return school-owned technology devices and textbooks as well as retrieve any personal items left in our schools.  Certainly our ceremonies and recognition plans will not be what we had hoped, but we are coming together to make it the best we can for our students while adhering to all social distancing and public safety guidelines.

The end of the school year is just around the corner. Let’s keep up the fantastic work you all are doing!

Dr. Karen Geelan
Interim Superintendent of Schools