Monday, April 19, 2010

The Start of Something New

Today marks the first day of the final marking period of the 2009-2010 school year. As an annualized school, this final marking period will be the last 1/4 of a student's final annual grade. The annualized grading system provides a unique situation where students are given a final 2 months to impact the direction of their final grade. It also happens to be the final 2 months where students are more likely to be tired, burnt out, and tempted by the warm weather to spend less time studying and more time soaking in the joy that is New York City in spring.

To the Seniors: Resist every temptation to let your work ethic and interest in academics to go out the window. This last marking period should be just as important as every other marking period you have had at ElRo. In fact, it should be more important because this is the one marking period that could affect your ability to both walk at graduation and matriculate into the college where you are in the process of depositing. Every day still counts. We are bound as a school to the Chancellor's regulations which require students to earn both a passing grade AND seat time in the courses where they are earning credit. Coming in late or not coming at all are not viable options. In addition, schools can still revoke your acceptances, even though you have deposited, if your grades show a dramatic shift. Save everyone the drama and just make it happen.

To the Juniors: This will be the final marking period where you can change the final grades you receive for the 2009-10 school year. These will be the grades that will be at the top of your transcript when you apply to college in the fall. You get to decide if the path your transcript takes is an upward trend or a high plateau (grades that started high and ended high). These two paths are highly preferable to the mid to low plateau or even more dreaded: the downward trend. Dig deep and pull out grades that are even one or two points higher than you thought you could. The benefits will far outweigh the sacrifices.

9th and 10th graders: The work you do now is the legacy that will follow you on your applications (and will be the memories your teachers have when writing you recommendations). In the words of Tim Gunn: Make it work.

Lastly, should you be in need of a little motivation watch this, probably one of my all time favorite Shakespeare scenes. Ever.