At most schools across the nation, a student receives a zero for any work he or she does not turn in. When a student fails to turn in work, it is a behavioral misstep, not an academic one. In most cases, the student knows the academic material, but for whatever reason does not turn in the assignment. Giving a zero is an academic consequence for the behavior of not turning in work. Giving an incomplete means the student receives a behavioral consequence for the behavioral misstep—they must complete the work. In contrast, we would never give a student a behavioral consequence, like a suspension, for an academic misstep of failing a test. When a student fails a test, it is an academic misstep, not a behavioral one. Educators tend to punish students academically for behavior issues. We want to ensure that we are giving academic consequences for academic issues and behavioral consequences for behavioral issues. We want to ensure that our grades are accurate and reflect what a student actually knows.
At FHHS, our teachers give incomplete grades instead of zeros. The advantage to the incomplete grade is that the student's grade is not severely damaged by the one misstep of failing to complete or turn in an assignment. The incomplete grade solves the dilemma of assigning grades that reflect knowledge over behavior. An incomplete freezes the grade until the student completes what is missing. This allows you as the parent to question your child about missing work and help them complete it. It allows the student to get partial credit for the work instead of a zero and holds them accountable to complete their work. With the grade frozen, the student must address the issue with the teacher and work towards a solution.
One way students can address missing work and get help from our staff to complete it, is to attend our Catchup Room. The implementation of the Catchup Room has helped students who are really struggling get caught up on assignments and raise their overall grades. When a student is assigned to the Catchup Room, they work on missing assignments until all assignments are finished. The room is supervised by our administrative staff and is a quiet environment that gives students another chance to find success. Our Reteach program, Power Hour, incomplete grades, and the Catchup Room are all examples of our mission to help all students find success. These programs let students know that we truly care about them and that we are willing to do whatever it takes to help them succeed.
Our goal is to have all students complete all assignments and ensure that they are not missing critical information. For more information, please feel free to call or visit anytime for a guided tour.