Policy updates for the first semester

Nikita Lewchuk, Reporter

There are several changes in the works this year concerning instruction policies.

Many of the changes were targeted at the freshman class to provide a framework across all their teachers.

Before now, the late work policy varied from teacher to teacher and agendas were checked once a week. Now all freshman will receive up to a 75% on work one day late and have daily agenda checks.

In addition, there will be a change concerning minimum grades on complete assignments.

“As long as they complete – and the key word there is complete – a homework assignment with genuine effort and it’s not about cats and tacos, the lowest grade they can get is a 50%,” freshman English Teacher Elizabeth Boomer said.

With this consistent platform for the freshmen to build off of, the goal is that they will be better prepared to succeed at a school with a rigorous curriculum.

Harding is also changing its policy in regards to English language-learning, or E.L.L students.

German teacher Joshua Higginbotham and Russian teacher Crystal Walker have recently brought attention to the difference between teaching English language learners and native English speakers.

In regards to teachers evaluating student comprehension, it can be difficult to tell if a student is truly understanding the material.

“If it’s not your first language the answer is always yes because what you really want is for them to not point you out,” Higginbotham said.

This month’s freshmen horizontal staff meeting focused on presenting some strategies to help teachers understand the students and what they’re going through.

Walker and Higginbotham also advocated for students being able to take notes in their native language.

“The English and history reading that students do here [is] already probably above their fluency level. Well, now throw in someone who hasn’t grown up in English and it’s much much harder,” Higginbotham said.

The language department also focused on strategies to give teachers to help them present the content that they’re teaching in a way that would help increase the students English fluency, as well as understand what the class is about.