Message from Principal Sabins 10.30

10.30 Message from Principal Sabins
Posted on 10/30/2020

Hello Marauder Families,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy.  There have been quite a few recent revelations and updates in our school community.  In order to keep you all informed, this correspondence will be lengthy.

  • Quarter 1 (Q1) ends today, October 30th.  The final grades will be available on November 5th.  These grades will go on student transcripts.  The district will not mail Q1 report cards.  Please check PowerSchool to view student grades. 
  • Quarter 2 (Q2) begins on Monday, November 2nd. Please note that Q2 is considered the second semester of your students first three classes. We will then move to three new classes for Quarter 3 (semester 1) and Quarter 4 (semester 2) during the second half of the academic year.  

We have recently found that many parents/guardians do not have PowerSchool Parent Portal set up. A Parent Portal account, which can link to your children at all SDUSD schools, allows for easy access to information including course progress, grades and attendance.  If you need to set-up an account or need assistance with accessing your account, please contact Amanda Courtney at [email protected] or Shirley Lemmon at [email protected].

Just a few days ago, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) made an announcement regarding students returning to on site learning.  January 25th is the proposed date for secondary schools to begin Phase 2 of reopening.  In Phase 2, secondary students would return to campus two days a week. Students would be split into two cohorts, with Cohort 1 attending on Mondays and Tuesdays and Cohort 2 attending on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays would be dedicated to on-line learning for all students. Please note that if your family would prefer to stay with the online model you will have the option to do so. Students will follow the same bell schedule with morning minutes dedicated to class period instruction and afternoon minutes dedicated to flex time for asynchronous learning or appointment-based services.  SDUSD did not provide additional information regarding the Phase 1 expansion timelines, which is the appointment-based program for our neediest secondary students grades 6-12 and educators.  As more information becomes available, I will share it with you. 

At the board meeting on October 13th, our board members unanimously approved a revised TK-12 Standards-Based Grading Policy: AR 5121.  There have been a lot of reports in the media about this new policy that has contributed some misconceptions and confusion.  The intent of this policy is to implement equitable grading practices district-wide and provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate they can show mastery of a specific standard. The policy will be implemented over a 2-year period. For this year, beginning Quarter 2, teachers will be expected to (1) remove non-academic factors from academic grades and (2) provide opportunities for retakes/revisions of certain assignments. Over the next few weeks, educators will communicate with families the type, frequency, and timeframe for revisions and reassessments. Departments and grade-level teams will determine which assignments can be revised or reassessed in order to provide students with more than one opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the content-area standards. Due dates for class assignments, late submissions, revisions and reassessments will also be established in order to give educators enough time to enter assignments into the final grade.

Starting next school year (2021/2022) teachers will begin to provide standards-based feedback and comments to indicate progress towards mastery of standards.  Citizenship marks on grade reports will align to revised grading policy language.  Also starting next year teachers will begin to use proficiency scales and/or standards-aligned rubrics in order to clearly communicate a student’s current level. Emphasis will be placed on progress towards mastery and NOT accumulation of points. I will continue to share additional information regarding these changes as it becomes available.

As always, stay safe and healthy out there Marauders! We can’t wait to see you again soon!

Jeff Sabins
Principal – Mira Mesa High School
[email protected]

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