Spring Term 2020 and Year End 2019-2020
Academic Policies & Calendar

Recognizing that students and teachers are working under stressful and often unpredictable circumstances, Academic Council has adopted the following guidelines both to maximize the focus on learning and to minimize attention on grades and grading for this term:

Spring Term 2020

  • Each course will be graded on a Pass/Incomplete basis.
  • Teachers of each course will collectively articulate, with input from their department chair, the expected standards to achieve a Pass.
  • Students who fall short of those standards will receive an Incomplete and be afforded additional opportunities to resolve such a mark.
  • Any time a student fails to complete any academic assignment or assessment, teachers will alert advisers.
  • Teachers will share Pass/Incomplete status with their students on (at least) April 10th, April 24th, and May 8th
  • Any Incomplete status reports will then be shared by email on the above dates with the student’s adviser, the Academic Office, and for Sixth Formers only, college counseling.
  • No Hill student presently is permitted to carry indefinitely an unresolved Incomplete, including and especially Sixth Formers.  That will remain the case.
  • Sixth Formers with an Incomplete have until the final day of their academic year (May 20th, 2020) to resolve that mark, as diplomas cannot be issued nor can final transcripts be sent to colleges with an incomplete on the transcript.
  • Reminder of Hill’s existing academic policy, which will be applied in the case of an Incomplete: “If a sixth former fails a course during the spring term, that failure may be construed as a year-end course failure if, in the judgment of the instructor and the appropriate department chair, the failure was brought about by willful inattention to the course on the part of the sixth former."
  • Underformers will resolve any Incompletes by their final day of the academic year (May 29th, 2020).  Requests for special consideration regarding this underform deadline should be sent to the Academic Office by May 8th, 2020. No exceptions will be made to this deadline.
  • The final week of the academic year for underformers (May 23-29) will focus on culminating meetings, projects, assessments, and work, and not introduce any new content. The schedule and exact format of this week will be released by Friday, May 1st.

Year End Grades

  • As we will be moving to a different academic model for all courses this Spring, student year-end grades will be granted within a range, the “floor” of which is the average the Fall and Winter Term grades. Note that only year-end grades are printed on a Hill transcript. 
  • The student’s “floor” for each course will be communicated to students individually through a Canvas assignment on Monday, March 30th.
  • A student may raise his/her year-end grade by as much as one third (B to B+) based on exceptional performance during this Spring Term 2020.
  • Exceptional performance will be defined and articulated by course just as Pass/Incomplete Standards are, consistently by course within each Department.
  • Thus, Spring Term 2020 grades of Pass/Incomplete will not negatively impact any student’s average of the Fall and Winter Terms. 

Of Note

There are some scenarios wherein a Spring Term grade will be impossible to determine using this formula, most notably those students who are signed up to take a term course for the first time during this Spring Term. The two departments that host those courses (Arts and History) will work with those teachers and students to determine processes by which to arrive at a fair and accurate term grade within the spirit of this larger framework.