Old Colony to move to a credit/non-credit system for the rest of the year

Apr 3, 2020

ROCHESTER — Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical School will cancel finals and move to a pass/fail system for the rest of the school year. 

The school has gradually revealed details of how it will continue operations in reaction to orders from Governor Charlie Baker that closed schools until April 7, and then May 4. The school said that if students are allowed to return on May 4 it will not go back to standard grades because it wants to remain consistent throughout the third term. The time that would have been used for final exams will now be used to further learning. 

“We are not trying to replicate our typical school experience and will keep in mind the myriad of limitations and extenuating circumstances that members of our community are facing,” wrote the school’s Superintendent-Director Aaron Polansky.

He said that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends that schools offer instruction for approximately half the length of a regular school day.

However, he also acknowledged, “we know that home schedules may not allow for a continuous, uninterrupted learning block and strongly recommend students engage in an average of 3.5 to 4 hours of activities and assignments per day.” 

Old Colony has devised a schedule of regularity that covers those recommendations. However, it also welcomes staff, student and parent suggestions as to how they might change that schedule.

Between April 6 and May 4, the school said students should login to Google Classroom and check their email daily, respond within 24 hours, complete activities and assignments and turn them in and email the principal if they cannot meet deadlines. Teachers of special education students will be in touch with families to determine what accommodations those students might need. 

The school usually hosts a cooperative program which allows students to get expertise in their technical specialty. However, it wrote in the statement that the program would be suspended while school is closed, and students would have to decide whether to continue their employment independently. 

Polansky said that April vacation will remain a vacation, and encouraged teachers and students  to relax during this time.

“Our class of 2020 remains in our thoughts each and every day,” the school wrote. “The fluidity of the current situation has left a lot of our planning up in the air as it pertains to activities for the Class of 2020... We will keep our community informed as decisions relative to activities are established.”

Administrators will provide updates as needed, as recommendations are still fluid at the state level.