One of the most important skill sets for a student or employee is that of submitting work correctly on time. Talent and potential are not actualized if they are not converted to a timely and complete work product. This set of skills is developed through training and practice. It may be improved by effort or degraded by lack of effort, but it never “just happens”, even as a function of natural maturity.
By “correctly”, we are referring to following the posted instructions and submitting complete work in the correct format. The standard for documents in education and business is docx for editable documents and PDF for non-editable documents. These standards are independent of platform (e.g., Windows, Mac, ChromeOS) or preference (e.g., MS Word, Mac Pages, Google Doc).
By “on time” we are referring to the posted Due Date, or to the occasional individual Due Date renegotiated in advance with the teacher. Self-determined due dates are convenient for the student, but do not develop a skill set that prepares for successful academic or employment experience.
TPS is committed to developing this skill set in all our students.
In the Elementary School courses, the focus is entirely on instruction and practice in submitting work correctly and on time, not on evaluation. Elementary School course students are continually and encouragingly trained to correctly format and submit completed assignments. They are not penalized for failure in this, but they are continually instructed rather than simply allowed to bypass the skill set due to their youth and immaturity. We want young students to not only learn to enjoy doing the work, but also develop the satisfaction of doing it correctly and on time.
For Middle School courses, the focus is still primarily instructive, but also includes some evaluative considerations. Middle School course students are continually and encouragingly trained to correctly format and submit completed assignments. They are generally not penalized for failure in this, but if a student receives the same instruction repeatedly and is unresponsive to it over multiple opportunities, then there also begin to be evaluative (i.e., affecting grades) penalties for recurring failure to submit work correctly and on time.
In High School courses, the focus quickly shifts from instruction to evaluation. Because most students do not come to TPS with this skill set already ingrained, we provide a grace period at the beginning of high school classes where we explain and establish the standard for “correctly and on time” (including the technology standard for properly saving and submitting the correct document to the correct assignment). The standard late penalty in TPS is 10% per day with zero after five days. Once we have explained, established, and practiced this standard for a short grace period, then we also enforce it. TPS reasonably expects high school course students to submit fully completed self-reviewed assignment documents in the correct format following posted directions. This reasonable expectation is also part of the evaluation criteria for assignments. Assignments submitted incompletely, incorrectly, or late without significant unforeseeable extenuating reason (e.g., sudden hospitalization) are equitably and respectfully graded as submitted and are generally not considered for resubmits, regrades, or resets. Assignments submitted after the Due Date will generally be given standard late penalties and will generally not be considered for waiver of those penalties. (Sudden, unforeseeable, extenuating circumstances that prevent submitting correctly and on time are considered compassionately and favorably.)
School Breaks and Sabbath Days
TPS does not require students to work during school breaks or on their individual Sabbath day. TPS commits that all assignments will offer every student sufficient time to complete the assignment outside of school breaks and a weekly Sabbath day.
However, to get everything done by the due dates without working on breaks or Sabbath days, a student must plan ahead and set individual milestones without falling behind. This is particularly true for mid-terms and finals, when exams, essays and projects tend to be due close together. TPS provides tools to help with this management, including an Assignments view that lists all upcoming assignment details for all classes in one place, as a planning aid for students and parents. Students should not expect teachers to do this individual planning for them, nor to change due dates or grant individual extensions to support individual planning.
On the other hand, many students and families prefer to use school breaks for some schoolwork, to support their own flexibility in home schooling. To support this preference, TPS classes may have some due dates that occur during breaks, but there will also always be sufficient time outside of the break for students who plan wisely and work diligently. Due dates scheduled during breaks should be considered as allowed extensions into the break, not as expectations for work to be done during break.
Individual or Family Planned Events
In general, students are expected to submit assignments on time even when classes are missed, including for planned events (e.g., sports events, recitals, debate contests, family travel). For planned events, TPS expects students to accelerate their assignment schedule before the event and submit the work in advance rather than falling behind with the intent to increase their workload following the event. For work that cannot be completed in advance, students must propose to the teacher specific revised due dates for each assignment affected and must have this plan approved by the teacher prior to the regularly scheduled assignment due dates. Extensions for planned events will generally not be granted without prior approval. (Extensions beyond five days must be approved by TPS Support rather than the teacher. Our experience is that extensions beyond one school week often affect the next week’s assignments and then progressively accumulate into an uncreditable and unrecoverable academic state.)
Academic Term Completion
Every academic term (e.g., Summer, Full Year, Fall, Spring) has a final date for accepting student work. These can be found on the Academic Calendar. These “StudyPlace Closing” dates are not flexible, and cannot be extended for individual students. Students who fail to submit all work completed and in the correct format prior to the final date of the term will be graded based on the work actually submitted, and work sent later (e.g., by email or postal mail) will not be considered.