October 6, 2021

Greetings Gunston Families,

Well, we are in the 6th week of the 2021-22 school year! For me, from one perspective, it feels like we have been back a lot longer than 6 weeks. And then, from another perspective, I am amazed that today is only the 23rd actual day of school.

I hope you are viewing the school year with both perspectives, appreciating and acknowledging the feeling of having been back a long time, but also seeing the only 20+ days of school. All of the good habits are not quite right, just yet. And all of the ones we would like to not see, are not quite extinguished just yet! We continue to make adjustments, acclimating ourselves to the ebb and flow of this school year with only these 20+ days of experience.

The 20+ days of school mark means that we are at the halfway point of the 1st marking period. I requested and we received permission to issue a NG – no-grade for the 1st quarter Interim Progress Reports (IPRs). I asked for the option for several reasons. One, we spent the first 7 days of school implementing focused social-emotional learning lessons. Some content was woven into those lessons, but not the same amount as if the entire class period was devoted to content. Two, our students have taken multiple required screening assessments, the Math Inventory, the Reading Inventory, and the VDOE(Virginia Department of Education) Growth Assessment in Math and English. Third, we are in our second year of a standards-based grading pilot.

We did not want the feedback on this IPR to paint an incomplete or inaccurate picture of your child’s progress. Teachers will be contacting families with a more accurate picture of student performance and progress. There will be the data to support the celebration of accomplishments, feedback about the current state, and a conversation about ways to support your child’s success, should success not be evident thus far.

In summary, a NG (no-grade) will be issued for the 1st quarter IPR. All families will receive specific feedback about their child’s progress later this month. And because we are working to make our grading practices more equitable and to be very focused on the learning, all students have multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

So, on this 23rd day of school, there is reason for celebration, there is reason to continue making adjustments, and there is hope built into our grading system that allows students time to grow toward mastery. This is some of what we have been up to at 2700 S. Lang Street!

Cheers,Dr. Wiggins

A Few Reminders:

10/6 – 10/8 – (1) Lockdown Drill

10/11 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day – No school for students