Why do we allow extensions and incompletes?
Going back to our primary values, we want to give students every reasonable opportunity to finish credits. The online environment gives us the flexibility to provide greater opportunity for students to complete what they have started, rather than forcing them to start over and spiral into a cycle of perpetual failure.
What are good reasons for allowing extensions?
Some students have very good reasons for not finishing in the time expected–health, family crises, or other events interfere with their plans. These are usually obvious approvals for allowing an extension, as our understanding of the student and family needs compel us to support them as best we can and provide as few hurdles as possible to completing their credits.
Other students have simply planned poorly, over-extended themselves in the things they have taken on, or become lackadaisical about keeping pace. In these cases, we hope to make the opportunity a learning experience for the student–to realize what is at stake and make a legitimate plan for finishing. If students are aware of their responsibility for communicating a plan and showing progress toward completion, we will grant an extension to give them that opportunity.
Does this mean that students can go on forever with no consequences?
Absolutely not. Students are granted extensions only if they have made significant progress, have shown acceptable activity, and have a plan to continue toward completion. If they have completed less than 40% of a class and have been barely active throughout the term, with no compelling reason, they are probably better starting over, as they will need nearly a full extra term to finish. These students can legitimately be given an I% for a grade. If they wish to continue, they would need to re-enroll for the next term.
Students who complete at least 75% are in a better position to finish without re-enrollment. However, they need to be aware of the required time commitment, and submit a plan for finishing by a specific date. This will be easier to adjust in Genius, with a corresponding pacing schedule, but will require communication among the student, teacher and counselor to be sure it is acceptable.
For students in a semester course who are close to 50% finished, a lower credit may be an option. If they can get to (or have reached) at least 50%, and completed the requirements for a quarter credit, we can award a .25 credit. This at least allows them to receive credit for what they have done, and leaves open the possibility of re-enrollment for the other partial credit without starting over, either with us or elsewhere. This is most beneficial for students who are near 50% and are not likely to be able to finish the remaining half the course before the end of the term.
Students who have finished 75% of the course or higher may have done enough work to earn a credit, but not at the grade they expect. Extensions can be given for completing or improving grades, but the teacher, counselor and parents have discretion to decide when sufficient opportunity has been made available and the student’s final grade can be assigned.
How are Incompletes entered as grades?
For students who are continuing to complete more work, an I% grade is entered in the PROGRESS field in Genius, and the STATUS field remains ACTIVE. A note is added by the teacher or counselor regarding the length of the extension. This I% grade does appear on the transcript, even if the student is continuing to work.
The I% grade is based on the amount of WORK completed, not the quality of the work submitted. So for instance, if a student has done 30/100 assignments, they would get an I30, regardless of whether the work was done at A, C or F level. This may NOT be the same as their percentage in Moodle, which indicates the quality of their work. A student, parent or counselor can look in Genius and see the I% as their progress toward completion, and the Moodle grade as the quality of their work. This will give an idea of how much farther the student has to go, and what they can expect as a final grade at the current level of quality.
When are I% grades changed to final grades?
When a student has completed enough work for a credit, a final letter grade is entered in the PROGRESS field. The STATUS is changed to COMPLETED, and the grade will automatically transfer to the transcript and generate a notification email to the student, parent and counselor.
If a partial credit (.25) can be awarded based on completing 50% of the course, this will need to be communicated to all stakeholders before entering in Genius.
If it appears that a student will not be doing any more work, and a partial or full credit cannot be awarded, the I% grade will remain on the student’s transcript permanently. The STATUS should be changed to DROPPED, which will generate a notification email to the student, parent and counselor. It is up to the local school to determine how the I grade is transferred into their system. Some will record an I, others will record an F and some may record nothing.