More Flexible Deadlines

Online classes create new hurdles for students, affecting extension policies

With the remainder of this year’s classes now exclusively online, academic policies are bound to come into question regarding circumstance accommodations. Classes, clubs and assemblies have changed to give students as much of a school environment as possible via Zoom video calls.

With the end of year in sight, UPrep has made slight changes when it comes to extension policies for tests and final projects.

Working from home means students have a variety of new factors and hurdles that can prompt them to request extensions. Associate Director of Upper School Sarah Peterson notes that these are usually centered around tech issues or home duties.

Students have had challenges balancing school responsibilities and home responsibilities, which are different or larger while working from home.  Students have had difficulties with reliable internet service at home,” Peterson said. 

Though these problems are expected for a portion of students with the arrival of online classes, Peterson adds that there are random, unpredictable factors unique to the home environment as well. 

“I can say that one student of mine missed a deadline because a new puppy chewed up the student’s laptop cord, and they were unable to get online at the time the work was due,” Peterson said. 

A weak internet connection can prevent a student from coming to class and finishing assignments. Upper School history teacher Pat Grant adds that the devices themselves have caused trouble for students as well.

“The biggest problem is technology limitations. Some students have had Wi-Fi failures. Others have had their laptops not function well,” Grant said.

Final exams will be done this year in a virtual format. As of this time, the approach that teachers will take when granting extensions for projects and the postponing of finals will ultimately be the same as it was with classes on campus with added leniency for any unexpected events.

“The bar for modifying deadlines for finals [and] final projects is obviously higher than it is for smaller assessments, but we do make accommodations as needed when students are in a truly unusual circumstance,” Peterson said. “I suspect that it will be much the same in the new remote learning environment.”