Poolesville High School modifies reassessment policies


Esther Hong, Staff Writer

Starting in the 2022 school year, Poolesville High School implemented new policies that affect the way students distinguish reassessable assignments from non-reassessable assignments in order to create a safer and less complicated learning environment. 

Not only are all assessments labeled with an R for reassessment or NR for non-reassessment, teachers are setting deadlines for reassessments and labeling them on the assignment. Teachers are also required to give a minimum of two reassessable assignments per marking period.

“Labeling assignments make communication clear, not just for students but also for parents,” said Principal Mr. Mark Carothers. 

Math teacher Laura Ackerman mentions similar reasoning as to why the labeling of assignments may be useful, “It does make it clearer to students and parents whether something is reassessable just by looking at how it’s entered in the gradebook.”

The main goal of this newfound policy is to make it possible for there to be clear communication between teachers, students, parents, administration, and counselors without there having to be a back and forth of emails from one group to another in hopes of getting an answer. The wait time for students trying to reassess assignments is eliminated since they no longer have to go through multiple additional steps in order to find out whether an assignment is reassessable or nonreassessable.  Senior William King states that the labeling of the assignments helps him manage his time and understand what assignments he will be able to redo in the event that he doesn’t do as well as he hopes to. 

Though PHS’s labeling policy requires teachers to label whether assignments are reassessable or nonreassable, the upper math department is taking this in a different direction. Rather than specifying which specific assignments are reassessable, they allow students to reassess a certain number of assignments per quarter. Students choose three assignments out of all the ten point assessments they had that quarter and reassess by uploading completed AP problems. As a result of this, math teachers specify that an assignment is reassessable but students decide which of those assignments they actually want to reassess. 

Little has changed in the policies of Ackerman due to the math department already having a specific reassessment policy before the new requirements. Because of this, little has changed for the students and teachers of the math department, even with the new policy and new wording when it comes to the reassessment policy.

“The math department wants to be able to make our own decisions about the specific group of students we teach.” Ackerman said, “Some courses may have different policies than others because the needs of the students differ. We want the policy to give some flexibility to teachers to be able to use their professional judgment within their classroom.”