High School: Letter to Parents from Mr. Bennefield

April 15, 2020

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe that we have been on home instruction due to the COVID 19 outbreak and social distancing for about a month.  I hope that this letter finds you in good health and settling into a daily routine that has become our new normal. I know personally, it has been hard trying to keep my own family on a daily schedule, but I would encourage you to have a daily routine in place and keep it as consistent as possible.  Having a consistent routine will make learning at home much easier on you and your student(s). I am writing this letter to update you on several items that are important to you as we continue on home instruction for at least the rest of this month, if not longer.

3rd Quarter Grades:

  • As most of you know, the third quarter has been extended to April 17th. Students, this has afforded you extra time to complete back work for teachers.      
  • The grading system has been modified.  While in remote learning, we will be using a grade range format.  There are essentially 4 categories, which are listed below. This grade range is a very fair system and allows for more precision than a basic PASS/FAIL model that many schools across the state are using.  It allows us to honor all students who continue to work extremely hard by keeping your grades in the high 90-100 range. By the same token, it allows some flexibility for those students who are struggling in the home instruction model.  Students, the bottom line is that if you are doing your work, engaging with your teachers and submitting your assignments, you will flourish in terms of grades, but also in terms of learning the material presented.
Student Performance Typically defined as Equates to this range
Exceeding Expectations 4 90-100
Meeting Expectations 3 80-89
Not Meeting/Approaching 2 65-79
No Evidence/Incomplete Incomplete Incomplete


4th Quarter Grades in Portal:

  • As you look at the School Tool Portal for the 4th quarter you will still see assignments posted, but you will no longer see a grade posted next to the assignment.  The grade will be replaced with a letter designation. Below are the three letters that will appear in the portal next to your assignments and their meaning. This will allow students and parents the ability to track assignment completion.  At the end of the 4th quarter a grade will be posted. 


NC-needs correction (in other words, partially complete)

M- missing

Regents Testing Update:

  • As most of you know, there are no June Regents exams and if you are in a course that ends in a Regents, you will be given credit for passing the Regents.  Here is the key, you must gain credit in the course in order to get credit for the Regents exam by the end of the school year. If you have not passed the course by the end of the school year you must go to summer school and gain credit for the course by the end of August.   
  • Seniors who have not passed Regents exams needed for graduation have the same exemption.  You must either be enrolled in and pass the course that ends with the Regents or you have already passed the course.  If you have not passed the course associated with the Regents needed for graduation, you must retake the course in summer school and gain course credit by the end of August.  The same rule applies to BOCES programs and any state approved exams that can replace a Regents exam through your CTE program of study. If you have specific questions about your graduation status please contact your guidance counselor.

    Completion of Work/Contacting Teachers:

    • There are still students who have not been completing work or have not been in contact with their teachers.  Parents I need your help in making sure that your student(s) are doing their online work and making contact with their teachers.  Teachers and support staff are contacting students daily and for those they have been unable to contact, they are reaching out to parents.  Parents, if you have received a call, text or email from a teacher please return it as soon as possible. We all want to see students succeed and if they have fallen behind and feel like they can’t catch up, have them reach out to the one adult in the high school that they trust and have built a strong relationship with.  Tell them not to worry about what they owe. We will help them catch up, but we can’t help them if they don’t communicate.  Please, please, please help us help them!

    Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.  I hope you find this information helpful and please feel free to continue to contact me with any questions you may have.  This certainly is uncharted territory for all of us. Together we will find our way through this trying time and continue to help your student(s) be successful.  


    Mr. Bennefield