Zeros and lates have been a controversial topic amongst students and faculty at WCI for many years. The debate continues, arguing whether it benefits the student or hinders their ability to reach their full academic potential. In 2013 the Board policy regarding late and missed assignments was changed. The old policy consisted of teachers being able to give students a zero if their assignment was late. With this new policy, under the umbrella of Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting (AER) teachers are not permitted to give zeros to students handing in work late therefore the assignment can be handed in anytime. WCI has also added a contract system; when a student does not complete an assignment, the teacher can ask them to sign a contract negotiating an alternate submission date. Often times this aspect of the system is not utilized and there is no consequence for not completing the assignment by the alternate date. Is this new system harming our student body instead of helping it?
Having no late penalties can be beneficial for students who are involved in sports or extracurricular activities after school since they might not have time to complete their assignments before the due date. Students can get the good night’s rest they need, and finish their assignment the next day with no penalty. However, as a student with extracurriculars, shouldn’t you already be organising your time in order to complete assignments on time? If you can’t finish an assignment, you should be speaking with your teacher in advance and negotiating an alternate submission date? Many students do not realize that although they are not getting a zero on their assignment, the teachers opinion of you will not be the same if you hand every assignment in 2 weeks past the deadline. Some teachers also add another section on the rubric so they can still give or take away marks for lateness. This effect is important to keep in mind when university and college applications are due as well as at the end of the year when you are attempting to convince your teacher to raise your mark. If you submit every assignment late, you have a low chance of getting that extra 3% you need to get into the program you desire. In a recent interview with McLean F. who now attends the University of Western Ontario, we asked whether she felt the no zeros policy prepared her for university: “I feel it did not prepare me at all, University is very difficult to begin with and my time management skills were horrible. I don’t think I completed any assignments on time yet I still got into university. I think if I were to do high school over again I would want a stricter policy so I can practice good habits and time management skills before I fail out of university”
The new sy stem can make the adjustment from high school to university very difficult in terms of academics. The rules in Universities are often much more strict. Professors don’t care if you had a soccer practice after school and forgot to write your paper. They will give you an automatic zero no matter what your excuse is.
Despite the pros and cons, you are in charge of your own learning, and your own habits whether they are good or bad. You are responsible for completing your assignments on time whether there is a late penalty or not. If you decide to attend University and you are one of those people who don’t like to complete work on time or you have a busy schedule, you will have to quickly learn how to meet deadlines, manage your time and activities. So is the new system good or bad? Well, this really depends on who you are! Let us know what you think: