Freshman Learning Community

Freshmen Learning Community

Vision of the Freshman Learning Community:

The vision of the Pontiac Township High School Freshman Learning Community is to create a caring and supportive environment that eases the transition into high school while encouraging students to focus on academics, career planning, and being part of the school community.

Re-take/Re-learning Policy Rationale:
The learning of concepts for students may occur at different rates or as a result of different experiences or support.  Since all students will be measured against the content and standards for the subject area, retakes are allowed for all students who have failed to meet the minimum competency and mastery requirements of the standards.  As the teacher is the authority in the classroom, the teacher maintains the right to disallow a retake at his/her discretion determined on a case by case basis.

Students have the opportunity to demonstrate higher mastery of the standards than was previously demonstrated on an initial assessment. If a student does not meet a minimum expectation set on the assessment by the teacher, a student will be encouraged to participate in relearning and reassessing. Students who desire to improve their performance (regardless of the original grade) may also participate in the retake process. The better of the two scores will be recorded. If a student is failing to meet minimum standards, he/she will be encouraged to continue in this process until a passing level is met.  This will result in the student being encouraged to attend tutoring hours in the study hall after school. The ability to participate in retaking an assessment may be revoked at any moment based upon the discretion of the teacher. 

What about responsibility?
The redo will foster responsibility by holding students accountable for the material. In this way, students are actually taught responsibility by maintaining a high level of expectation regarding the learning of specific content and standards.

If they must work to relearn material, isn’t a student always behind?
No. They will be required to catch themselves up with the teacher and others on their own time. It will be much work and effort, but students will be expected to keep up with the current material in the course while participating in a make-up.

Won’t students simply intentionally do poorly the first time on the assessment knowing that they can get a retake? In this way, won’t they have an advantage over those that took the assessment on time?
All students have the ability to retake an assessment to demonstrate a higher level of mastery—even students earning an A on the original assessment. However, participation in the process of a retake will be rigorous and demanding. Again, anyone thought to be manipulating the teacher will not be allowed the retake opportunity.

What does teacher discretion mean?
If a topic is based upon a minor standard, a retake may not be allowed. If a student attempts to take advantage of the system, a retake may not be allowed. In addition, there may be other instances evaluated on a case by case basis where a retake may not be allowed. Students should see the retake policy as an opportunity in the classroom rather than a right.  Students that either choose to participate in a retake, or are encouraged due to poor performance, will have to complete additional learning. The teacher has the ability to adjust this policy based upon the individual needs of the student.

Items that may need to be submitted in order to participate in the retake process may include:  1) Submission of a calendar detailing deadlines and future learning. 2) Evidence of up to 5 relearning activities including but not limited to: meeting with a tutor, meeting with a teacher, additional completed assignments from the text, etc.  3) Submission of a typed letter detailing the mistakes and errors in thinking and process on the first version.  4) The original version of the assessment with the signature of an adult in the household.  5) Other reasonable requests of the teacher.  6) Students will be able to retake an assessment prior to the next scheduled assessment.  7) Retakes will not be allowed the final week of the semester.  8) The teacher reserves the right to consider adjustments on a case by case basis.