GRCHS 2020 End of Year Details
Friday, April 17, 2020
Dear GRCHS Community,
I pray that this message finds your family safe and healthy. As we return from spring break, we are so grateful for the continued hard work and positive attitudes of our students, our strong partnership with parents, and the determination and flexibility of our teachers and support staff. The purpose of this message is to provide an update on the academic procedures and timelines for the remainder of the school year.
INSTRUCTION AND ASSESSMENTS
As a faculty and staff, we have maintained high standards during this time of online learning. The goal has not been maintenance, but rather continued growth that strengthens students’ foundation for future coursework and opportunities. Teachers have used and will continue to use a variety of instructional techniques to reach all learners. Many are also using a variety of assessment methods such as student interviews, project-based assessments, open book/note free-response assessments, and other traditional written assessments. Teachers will continue to provide regular feedback to learners and assign grades that align with a student’s level of learning.
To accommodate the need for different types of assessments, instruction will end on May 14 and the final two weeks of school will be reserved for “final exit assessments” instead of traditional exams. The exit assessment for each period in the schedule is assigned to a specific day. Due to the complexity of scheduling these assessments, students are not permitted to take assessments on different days. Exit assessments will be used as additional evidence of learning, which may impact the final course grade, or to confirm credit for students who need to show basic proficiency in a course.
Teachers will communicate the structure of their exit assessments and the potential impact on the final grade by Friday, May 8.
These final exit assessments are waived for all seniors unless there is a need to demonstrate basic proficiency for credit. You can view the updated April and May calendars here and find answers to other frequently asked questions here.
We are thankful that we’ve been able to provide such a strong academic program for our students, and we look forward to many unique learning opportunities over the rest of the semester. However, during this time, grades and transcripts are not the most important thing. God has called us to be thoughtful neighbors who are prepared to practice hospitality, compassion, service, and empathy for those around us. Galatians 6:2 reminds us “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Our number one priority right now is to show Christ’s love and compassion to our students and families in the GRCHS community. We recognize that students and families have been impacted in countless ways by COVID-19.
Our students have faced many variables in both learning and in demonstrating their learning during this time. A student or teacher might have technology issues. Many students have increased responsibilities at home as parents continue to work. Students who need more structure find it difficult to adjust to this new routine. Some families have experienced sickness and loss while others are in financial crisis. Loneliness, anxiety, and depression are invading our homes like no other time in recent history.
To acknowledge both the complexity of learning online during a pandemic as well as the need to affirm and reward the amazing work of our students, at the end of the semester students and parents can make a formal request to their counselor that credit be assigned instead of a letter grade in any course.
This policy creates an environment where no student’s GPA has to be negatively impacted during this pandemic. As the end of the semester approaches, we will create a simple process for families to make this request. Because a few select courses have limited opportunities to demonstrate learning online, they will only provide credit.
Teachers will let you know if this is the case in their class. Many colleges and universities have communicated that they are prepared for a wide variety of transcripts from this semester and that grades of “credit” will not negatively impact the college admissions process or scholarship application.
We want to especially recognize and celebrate our senior class as they mourn the loss of events and traditions that normally mark the end of their high school careers. The students in the class of 2020 have been great leaders in our school, and they have truly left their mark. They have excelled in the classroom, on the stage, and on the athletic field. They have planned chapels, organized school events, served in the community, and embraced many changes over their high school careers. Seniors’ last day of class is May 14 and as mentioned above, they are exempt from our final exit assessments.
Although we cannot celebrate together over the next few weeks as we had planned, we are committed to honoring and celebrating this senior class and their many accomplishments in the summer.
Assuming that restrictions on large assemblies are lifted, we plan to host our senior banquet on July 17 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum and our graduation ceremony on July 21 at Calvary Church.
For the remainder of the semester, we will celebrate virtually with a senior chapel, senior spotlight, and other fun events planned by student congress and the administration.
Class of 2020, we are devastated that your senior year ended so abruptly, but we are also so proud of your resilience and how you have managed online learning. We trust that God will use this unexpected chapter in your lives to prepare you for service in the Kingdom.
To all our students, we are proud of you, we miss you, and we love you. Know that even though we are apart, we are committed to supporting you emotionally, physically, spiritually and academically. We are praying for continued health and strength as you finish the school year.
Principal, Grand Rapids Christian High School
From the ends of the earth, I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.