Approaching Missing Work Deadlines: Needed or Neglected?

The+missing+work+deadlines+posted+in+every+classroom+across+Hellgate.+%0APhoto+by+Devyn+Deschamps

The missing work deadlines posted in every classroom across Hellgate. Photo by Devyn Deschamps

Devyn Deschamps, Reporter

As Hellgate students return to normalcy, so do the dreaded deadlines: the most pertinent being the monthly missing work deadline. This essentially is the final curtain call for assignments and consequently after, any work turned in will account for no credit. While many believe that this is an effective solution to missing assignments and showing immediate repercussions for lack of action, others imply that due to the values being taught and the immense workload for both staff and students, it’s simply impractical. 

Principal Judson Miller was the one to implement the deadlines initially. Throughout his time as an English teacher and during his time as an administrator, he noticed the keen similarities between students, that being disorganization and confusion. “Students didn’t have clear guidelines on when to turn in work,” said Miller. He consistently observed students attempting months after the due date, trying to get credit for assignments due in the beginning of the year, “there’s just not a good connection.” 

The emphasis Miller wanted on the Missing Work Deadlines was academic support. This system was to alleviate stress on faculty and students, which he said “puts everybody on the same page,” as the year progresses, without letting students fall behind. Beyond that, the deadlines allow for students to have the opportunity to access, “supports, find tutoring, find some other courses to sign up for next year,” as Miller said. 

This system has proved effective, in Miller’s opinion. As analytics have shown, “Our office hours attendance goes up, and I would say the homework, the turn-ins are higher; because students are the ultimate procrastinators,” said Miller. However, this data isn’t binding, said Miller. “As we move forward, the data will tell a picture, and I’m certainly not opposed to changing things based on data.”

Students to an extent have similar views with regard to the Missing Work Deadlines. Junior Lucy Hansen said, “it can help keep kids on track.” However, pressure has still been applied, even for those who get all their assignments in; heightened worry that something was missed, because while Infinite Campus is accurate most of the time, when the completion of assignments keeps piling up during times like the missing work deadlines, it takes an extended period for the gradebook to be accurate. Hansen emphasized just how students become increasingly stressed during this period, even if their grades are going up. “I don’t like what they are teaching students with them,” said Hansen. 

This is where the lines have blurred, between the dominating analytics and the students’ opinions; while both are important, which should be prioritized? The middle ground stays within the hands of the teachers. The intended beneficiary of the system, but still has to take the responsibility to grade the overwhelming amount of assignments and be the one to pull to trigger on giving a student a zero if an assignment isn’t turned in before the deadline. 

Spanish teacher Connie Moothart for one has that job. “When I first heard about the missing work deadlines, I was a little skeptical, but intrigued to see how they would work,” she initially said. However, Moothart had cases in the past where students attempted to turn in all missing assignments right at semester’s end, which she said “put a lot of pressure on me to quickly turn around and grade them.”

The implementation of these deadlines helped alleviate this end of semester worry, but it goes further than that. “I think they help keep students and teachers more accountable and consistent with work,” said Moothart, “having some wiggle room for students who struggle, while still keeping a boundary to help teachers out, is a pretty good compromise!”

So while students and teachers may not be in agreement, the potential of the deadlines being revised with more student involvement is still there. Ultimately, there are both pros and cons for the missing work deadlines, but for the foreseeable future it is here to stay.