Trumbull High students petition against grading change
Trumbull High will retain its traditional semester grading policy following a student-led petition drive that netted more than 1,400 signatures, school officials said.
At the end of January, school administrators announced a new semester policy. The idea of “semesterizing” courses — basing grades and attendance off of semesters rather than the full year — alarmed some students and parents who worried that the change would jeopardize students’ GPA.
“It would have affected me most when I was applying to college, as it would reflect my transcripts differently,” said THS sophomore Katherine DeRose. “I wouldn’t be able to grow my cumulative grade after semester one during semester two, and if I performed worse in semester two, it would show (a decline).”
With college admissions becoming increasingly competitive, the difference between an A and an A- can matter, students said.
So DeRose and THS juniors Rachel Weintraub, Gabby Biondi, and Ali Feretti created a petition to protest the change.
“We used an online petition, so we could easily spread the link across multiple social media platforms,” said DeRose. The petition gained 1,425 signatures after being posted two weeks ago.
Parents also complained that they were first notified about the proposed change in late January. Although changes to the attendance policy were addressed at the beginning of the school year, there was no clear mention of any changes to the grading policy, DeRose said.
“Teachers were supposed to relay the message during advisory, but many did not,” DeRose said. “Most students found out via a Facebook post on the Trumbull High Parents page.”
The student group announced on the petition page that they had set up a meeting with Principal Marc Guarino, and on Jan. 31, Guarino informed parents in a letter that Trumbull High School’s grading practices would not change this year.
“Students in yearlong classes will continue to receive a single, cumulative letter grade to reflect their learning,” he wrote.
Guarino said he was impressed with the student body, their responsibility and their commitment to success.
DeRose thanked her supporters Feb. 1, citing the school’s reversion to its original grading system and apology for any insufficient communication.