YCDSB's solution for teacher absence raises eyebrows at St. Max

A temporary solution offered by the York Catholic District School Board due to difficulty in replacing a teacher at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School has raised eyebrows amongst parents.

On Friday, parents of many Grade 12 students received a letter from the school informing them that due to an ongoing teacher absence in a specific course, a vacancy the YCDSB is trying to fill, applicable students would receive a mark of 100 per cent on their mid-terms.

This caused concern among parents, with one who asked not to be named questioning whether this would put some students at an unfair advantage in their applications to colleges and universities.

“In order to support students during this teacher absence, we will be giving all students a mark of 100% for their midterm,” read the letter. “This mark will be accompanied by a comment which states the progress and mark for this class has been impacted by a teacher absence. When the permanent teacher returns or when a replacement teacher is hired, the mark will be changed to reflect the student’s performance on assessments, including those that were already recorded by the original teacher. As such, it is important to understand that the final mark will likely be lower than 100 per cent.”

Mark Brosens, spokesperson for the YCDSB, confirmed the class in question has been without a permanent teacher for most of the semester, a situation he said is “rare” at the Grade 12 level.

“All students in this class were assigned the same mid-term grade so they could have enough information to apply to post-secondary programs,” said Brosens. “These students’ grades will be adjusted over the remainder of the semester. Post-secondary institutions consider a student’s mid-term and final grades in many classes when making admissions decisions.

“The YCDSB is actively recruiting a permanent teacher for this class, and we are confident that someone will be hired soon.”

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran