Should We Get Rid of the Quarter System?

Dialogue in Blind Brook High School has been provoked over the topic of getting rid of the quarter system currently being used to grade students in each class. The quarter system is when students receive a grade after each quarter of the school year, and their final grade becomes an average of each quarter in addition to their final assessment. This allows students to have a fresh start to their grade after the termination of a quarter, with their new current grade beginning at 100. The alternative to the quarter system is the rolling grade system. The rolling grade system is a continuous grade that is continually updated based on one’s assignments, assessments, and participation in class. Instead of starting at 100 each quarter, students’ grades will build off of the current average for the school year. Students and administrators have been thrashing out this topic by looking at the pros and cons of each system. While the rolling grade system can help students identify their exact progress throughout the year, there is limited time for improvement in a particular area since grades are updated frequently. On the other hand, the quarter system allows students to obtain multiple chances to earn a good grade for the quarter, but the learning is fast-paced, and large assessments/projects are crammed all at once before the end of the quarter. 

Blind Brook High School’s Congress has tackled this debate while considering the positive and negative aspects it would bring to the students. When asked what side the majority of Congress sided with, Alli Low, a Blind Brook sophomore, reported, “It was split… People liked the idea of how a rolling grade system would help to better represent student activity in class, but it was also mentioned that students who may not start the year with good grades will have a tough time getting their grades up since there is no reset”. 

After much conversation, Congress has still not settled on the system they plan on supporting. “One complaint with the quarterly system is the fact that since quarters are weighted the way they are, one bad quiz in a quarter will ruin your yearly grade if there aren’t a lot of other assessments within the same quarter,” Blind Brook sophomore student Pablo Zeitune stated after a Congress meeting. “Complaint two is the buildup of tests and projects at the end of each quarter… which in theory we could fix with a rolling grade book”. Tatum Korpi, another sophomore Congress member at Blind Brook, commented, “Quarterly grades are better because it allows students to have three fresh starts if they have a difficult quarter before.” 

As there is no final decision yet, Blind Brook High School will continue to talk through the quarter and the rolling grade systems to decide which system they will use. Overall, both systems provide significant benefits to the students, and no matter which one gets chosen, the school will ensure that each student’s grades accurately echo their academic performance.