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Editorial: The new semester grading system is a change for the better

Courtesy of Pixels via Creative Commons

Courtesy of Pixels via Creative Commons

Editorial Staff

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At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, students and teachers learned that District 211 was going to switch from 9-week quarter grades to a 18-week semester-grade system in the upcoming school year.

This change was met with a mixture of happiness and backlash from students and parents, the latter of which felt semester grades would put them at a disadvantage.

In actuality, there are few downsides to having semester grades.

With quarters, tensions were constantly high and students continually stressed about getting their grades as high as possible before the quarter came to end.

This would happen four times a year, something no one was a fan of.

Semester grades…provide much more flexibility over a larger span of time.”

With semester grades, this stress has been lifted off everyone’s shoulders, with the quarters instead being replaced by a 6-week and 12-week progress reports that aren’t set in stone.

If a student had a rocky start to the school year, they might not have had enough time or enough opportunities to boost their grade before the quarter came to a close and in turn doomed their semester grade.

Some students found this exact thing reassuring; they knew exactly what to strive for the next quarter and could create a plan for how to do it. Semester grades ultimately do the same thing, but instead provide much more flexibility over a larger span of time.

In a sense, one’s grade is “continuous” and can constantly be improved; plus, a few months into the school year one has numerous class assignments and other grades to fall back on if they didn’t do so well on a test.

The fact of the matter is that semester grades provide more leeway for students and are much less stress-inducing than quarter grades.

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Palatine High School's student news site.
Editorial: The new semester grading system is a change for the better