One of the most important skill sets for a student or employee is that of submitting work correctly and timely. 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 and accurate work in the required format. By “timely”, we are referring to meeting the posted Due Date. 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 timely.
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 timely.
In High School courses, the focus quickly shifts from instruction to evaluation. Because many students do not come to TPS with this skill set already ingrained, we provide a short grace period at the beginning of high school classes where we explain and establish the standard for “correctly and timely”. 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.
TPS’s assignment submission timeliness process is intended to be simple, equitable, gracious, and efficient. Students are expected to submit assignments correctly and timely (on or before the Due Date). Standard reasonable per-day late penalties are applied to evaluative assignments (e.g., essays, projects, labs, exams, quizzes). However, TPS guarantees waiver of late penalty if the lateness is unavoidable and unpreventable (as determined by TPS). Because late penalties are guaranteed to be waived for unavoidable lateness, TPS does not consider pre-approved due date extensions. Extended absences (e.g., due to hospitalization) are handled through an Academic Leave process that also does not involve negotiating extensions and penalties.
Academic Leave (Extended Absence)
In cases of extended illness, injury, surgery, bereavement (death in the family), or other similar situations where the student must be away from classes and assignments for an extended finite period, it is cumbersome and counterproductive to negotiate individual assignment extensions, waivers, or accommodations for each assignment. For periods of unavoidable extended absence, TPS provides for Academic Leave with suspension of assignment Due Dates. During the leave period, there is no discussion of extensions, reductions, waivers, or other assignment accommodations. At the end of the leave period, TPS coordinates the academic recovery with waivers and schedule modifications. The final determination of a request for and duration of an Academic Leave of absence rests solely with TPS.
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 students with this planning, 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 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 between schoolwork and other activities. To support this preference, TPS classes may allow some due dates to occur during breaks, but for students who plan wisely and work diligently there will also always be sufficient time outside of the break to complete the work. If a Due Date happens to occur during a break, it should be understood as a convenience option for students who prefer the extra time, not as a requirement for students to wait until this date to complete and submit the assignment.
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.