Skip to content

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

Some Grade 12 students at the Aurora high school are getting 100 per cent on their mid-term for a course with an ongoing teacher absence the York Catholic District School Board hasn't been able to fill
2019 03 20 St. Maximilian Kolbe CHS
St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic High School in Aurora. Supplied photo/YCDSB

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 among parents.

Parents of many Grade 12 students have 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 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 is a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative reporter at The Auroran