There has been controversy in the last few months about whether students should get a zero for not completing an assignment. For the record, STAR Catholic Schools does not have a division policy on this question. As Trustees, we have faith that the principals and teachers in each of our schools know what’s best for individual students and will act accordingly. This means a student may receive a zero if warranted. However, giving a zero to a student is considered a last resort at STAR Catholic Schools because we know other approaches often work much better.
There is little question that the threat of getting a zero can be a motivator in getting an assignment completed on time. However, for some students, research has shown it is not the best approach in helping students be successful learners. Students thrive in an environment where they are given instruction, feedback and help throughout the learning process. This includes helping students overcome whatever might be preventing them from participating in class, doing homework, studying for exams or getting assignments done on time.
This zero-as-a-last-resort philosophy reflects our inclusive approach to education that welcomes all types of learners. Inclusive education means accommodating many learning styles, abilities and skills. We know that working with students to improve performance within a flexible, loving, caring Christ-centred environment pays far more dividends than restrictive, one-size-fits-all policies. That’s why we give our schools and teachers the freedom to make decisions about giving zeros to students.
Telling students what they are expected to learn and then giving constant support to improve their performance before they are tested works. We see it every day in the achievement of our students, the satisfaction of our parents and the commitment of our staff. If you would like to know more about STAR Catholic Schools philosophy regarding our grading approach or have any questions, please contact your local STAR Catholic school principal. For St. Anthony School, it is Trish Molzan at firstname.lastname@example.org and for Holy Trinity Academy, it is Mark Basaraba at email@example.com
Sandra Bannard firstname.lastname@example.org and Susan Kathol email@example.com are Drayton Valley Trustees on the STAR Catholic Schools Division Board. STAR Catholic Schools has 3,000 students in 10 schools located in Beaumont, Drayton Valley, Leduc, Lacombe, Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. Learn more at www.faithinyourfuture.ca