Please Reconsider the Grading System at SUHSD

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Please note, this petition is asking for a reconsideration of the school board's recent decision on the pass/fail grading system. Further, it would be appreciated if the district released the plans of the three systems (normal letter grades, pass/fail, & hold harmless) and their pros/cons so that parents and students are not left in the dark in regards to these decisions. 

After hearing about the recent switch to pass/fail grades due to the ongoing crisis, mixed feelings are going around about whether pass/fail is fair and whether it accurately reflects the desires of the Sequoia Union High School District community as a whole. We would like to clarify that the objective of this petition is not to disrespect the board’s decision, but rather to bring to the attention of the SUHSD school board that many students still strongly prefer letter grades or Hold Harmless over the pass/fail method.

We simply wish that our opinions are appropriately taken into consideration, which we did not feel was sufficiently done during the school board meeting on April 15th, 2020. We noticed that the two students that were brought in for representation in the meeting were both seniors, who are affected the least by this decision, and that out of almost 2000 students at Carlmont, two students are a very small minority. We would also like to mention that in the survey that was given out recently by the SUHSD district, the overwhelming majority of comments in the survey were in support of Hold Harmless, from both students and parents alike. We accept and respect whatever decision the board comes to, but we do wish that whatever the beliefs of the majority student body and faculty are, they are given more weight when making such an impactful decision.

While we fully understand and acknowledge that online school can create a disadvantage for certain students, we believe Hold Harmless would get rid of the issues and cater to the needs of everyone. By opting for a Hold Harmless approach, students’ grades would not be able to fall, and therefore those who are unable to have the same access to internet learning or have similar issues would not be at a disadvantage. The alleged purpose of pass/fail is to provide everyone with an equal opportunity to succeed in high school. However, it demotes many who have dedicated endless energy and time to their academic growth and schoolwork this semester. With a year full of uncertainties and reduced opportunities for growth such as canceled extracurriculars, standardized tests, and summer opportunities–– grades are one of the few measurements by which we can still demonstrate that despite the worldwide crisis, we are still passionate, dedicated students. 

Furthermore, we would like to recognize the outstanding work that the faculty and staff of Carlmont have done despite this disruption. Every single one of our teachers are exceptionally accommodating during this new form of learning, and if tech issues or personal matters arise, they are quick to understand given this foreign situation. They are all remarkably open to our feedback on workloads and assignments, and I have full confidence that they are the most reliable people to be in charge of our futures. They want us to succeed, and we are sure that none of them would disregard a student’s troubles. Again, we hope only to offer insight to our opinions and perhaps warrant a reconsideration of this decision. We thank you very much for your time and effort in guiding our school, and for listening to our concerns.