The focus of the meeting is the 8th grade completion ceremony. We discuss which students are allowed to participate and which aren't. Please consider in this that every student will be moving on to high school. (That's a different blog post.)
The 8th grade students signed a contract stating that they would have Cs or better in every class to participate. Wednesday was the cut off day for raising grades to that level for the completion ceremony. The list of students who didn't make the C or better range were mostly from my classes. I was asked what I thought.
I replied, "I don't care." I haven't said that this year in a meeting. I've cared about everything that has happened at all times to all students. However, I truly didn't care about this one. I've assessed my students and their grades reflect what they've done and what they've been able to demonstrate. I simply just don't care about 8th Grade Completion.
Completing 8th grade is not the time to celebrate. Why would you celebrate this? What can you do with your life if you only complete 8th grade?
My AVID classes have visited the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and Gustavus Adolphus College. We've had a few speakers about careers. We've had high school students visit. We've researched colleges and careers. We've figured out how to use Metro Transit to get to their high schools. We've spoken to county commissioners. We've created service learning projects.
It's not about 8th grade. You won't remember your grades from middle school. Getting a D in room 254 for one quater of 8th grade is completely insignificant.
8th Grade Completion Ceremony. I don' care. Let them all walk. Let none of them walk.
All my students have my email address and website. They know how to get in touch with me. I tell them to let me know when they graduate from high school and when they graduate from college. I'll be close to the front of the line to shake their hand on both occasions.