High school update on its new instructional plan

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Dear Minisink Valley High School students and parents:

The COVID 19 virus has taken all of us out of our element and is forcing us to travel down unfamiliar roads and into uncertain times.  As we navigate these uncharted territories, please know that the faculty and staff at Minisink Valley High School are committed to providing our students with the best education that we can, even while we are away from them.  The way we teach and grade our students will change to adjust to the new environment that we are in, but we will be there every step of the way to help our students as we guide them and engage them in the courses that they are enrolled in.

The April 6 letter from Superintendent Monahan informed our community that school closures in New York State will be extended and are scheduled to resume on April 29.  The letter also speaks to the expectations that the district will have for new marking period dates and grading policies, faculty communications, student expectations, parent/guardian expectations, as well as information on technology support from the district.

I will share with you how the new marking period dates and grading policies will be applied at the high school, as well as provide you information on events that are unique to the high school.

New marking period dates and grading policies for Minisink Valley High School:

3rd Quarter grading

  • The 3rd quarter will end on March 13.
  • Students will have an opportunity to make up some of the work from the 3rd quarter through consultation with their teachers by April 14.
  • 3rd Quarter averages will be calculated using the eight weeks of work collected during the 3rd Quarter, while students were in school and participating in normal lesson activities.

Review and enrichment work

  • Work that was completed between March 16 and April 14 will not be calculated into students averages, as it was designed to keep students engaged and maintain their skills through conscientious review work.

4th Quarter grading

  • 4th Quarter grades will be assessed and evaluated based on completion and quality of work.
  • Teachers will be scoring the students work to provide feedback and ensure student understanding of the material.
  • Based on this criteria, students will receive a Pass/Fail for the quarter.
  • If we are able to return to school and our traditional instructional process then the grading of the 4th Quarter may return to traditional scoring and grading depending on when we are able to return.

Final average calculation

  • Students averages will be calculated based on the average of Quarters 1, 2 and 3.
  • Students who have a passing three quarter average and pass the 4th Quarter will maintain their three quarter average as their final course average.
    Students who have a passing three quarter average and fail the 4th Quarter will have a reduction in their three quarter average and that will be their final course average.
  • Students who have a failing three quarter average and pass the 4th Quarter may have an opportunity to pass for the year based on the 3 Quarter average and the work completed during the 4th Quarter Pass/Fail instruction period.
    Students who have a failing three quarter average and fail for the 4th Quarter will fail the course based on the combination of their three quarter average and the failing score for the 4th Quarter.
  • Regents exams and final exams have been cancelled and will not be factored into the final average calculations.

June Regents exams

June Regents exams have been cancelled and the New York State Education Department has provided guidance on graduation and course requirements.  NYSED guidance on cancellation of June Regents exams   

NYSED Q&A on cancellation of June Regent exams

SUPA and SUNY Orange college courses 

  • College courses offered at the high school will be graded and assessed based on the requirements of the college offering the course.  Teachers and students have been notified by those institutions of the expectations required to be successful in these courses. These courses will NOT follow the Pass/Fail grading policy of the high school.
  • SUPA will be offering a Pass/Fail option (details will be shared with students in these courses).

AP courses

  • Will be utilizing the instruction provided online by the College Board and the instruction of the assigned high school teacher.  The College Board has provided teachers and students with the information to be successful in these courses.
  • Students can contact their high school teachers or Mrs. Bruder (high school counselor) with questions.

CTEC courses at O-U BOCES

  • We will be updating you on the changes in grading and requirements in the near future, as we wait for O-U BOCES to finalize the end of the year plan.

High school events and activities 

The high school has a rich offering of opportunities for students and the school closure has put many of them in jeopardy of being canceled. These events include: Junior Prom, Senior Ball, athletics, music competitions and concerts, the senior class trip, drama productions, yearbook, baccalaureate, project graduation, countless awards ceremonies and graduation.

These events are important to our students and our staff, so we will be trying to offer them to our students if we return to school and time allows.  Canceling these events will be a last resort and every effort will be made to hold the event or reschedule if needed.

Scholarship timelines will be pushed back where possible to allow the school to verify that our annual providers will be able to participate this year with the financial burdens that many in our community are struggling with. We are communicating with our scholarship providers to update our list and to create selection processes that will be conducive to the environment that we are living in. When this process is complete we will share this information with our students and community.

On behalf of the high school faculty and staff, I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.  Remember that we are in this together and if you have questions or concerns you should reach out to the teachers, counselors and administrators at the high school.

Student engagement will be an important part of passing courses at the closure of the 2019-20 school year and to ensure that the skills needed to prepare for the 2020-21 school year have been acquired.  The educational path that we are on is different but equally important to the successful completion of high school and preparation for the future.

If your child is experiencing concerns with their mental or emotional health please do not hesitate to reach out to our counselors or the high school administration so we can assure appropriate support is provided.

This is a great community and we will be successful.

Go Warriors!


Ken Hauck