NHS Speaks: Gradeless learning in Integrated Science

Diego Moreno, Staff Writer

Northwood culture is one of staying up all night to study for a test and working to get that illustrious A on your report card. The social order was rocked this year as Integrated Science 3 switched to a gradeless learning model where students don’t test to earn their grade. Rather, students discuss with the teacher and choose their grade based on their understanding of the material. This shift in how to earn the A has left students with a major question: Should the gradeless learning model be adopted by the rest of Northwood, or is it a model best left behind?

The Howler was only able to provide some opinions; however, if you would like to continue the conversation, you can leave a comment on thehowleronline.org or write a letter to the editor and deliver it to Room 1102.


“I think in the competitive environment that Northwood has, gradeless learning is a breath of fresh air from the sometimes overwhelming obsession and stress. HIS3 allowed some breathing room for me to actually explore the concepts we learn in class out of self-interest. I think it’s an important move that assists in reminding students and parents that school is supposed to be about the knowledge you acquire rather than the letter grade you receive.”

– Rohit Rajesh (11)


“I honestly like gradeless learning. I feel like it makes it so I can worry less about scores throughout the year and focus more on knowing the content when it’s time for the conference. It definitely eliminates a lot of stress, especially because I get to choose my own grade. I’d say it’s a better reflection than having your grade averaged as I feel like grading based on a student’s current understanding really improves the accuracy of a grade.”

– Shaan Singh (11)


“I like it, but I feel like it might not always be an accurate representation of the amount of work a student puts in. I feel like everyone is going to say they deserve an A or B. However, the same could also be said for having our test, homework and projects graded. There just needs to be a better in-between. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I still appreciate that HIS3 teachers created this gradeless learning model to help students even though I think it’s a bit extreme.”

– Salma Illiasu (11)


“I believe that we’re novices when it comes to this with the first semester being a test one; however, I liked it because I saw students’ visible stress lower as they were no longer focused on trying to get a perfect score on every test. The absence of punitive grading policies allowed students to flourish as they were no longer hindered by scheduling, such as being busy with the musical or something else.”

– David Monge (Science teacher)