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Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Marlborough solidifies their deadline policy


Since Marlborough’s return to in-person instruction following the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration has implemented several iterations of a late work policy. This school year marks the official reinstatement of the end-of-semester deadline as it stood prior to the pandemic.

When students began remote learning in March 2020, Marlborough instituted a “no late work” policy. As a result, students were able to turn in assignments after the deadline without facing a grade deduction. In order to ease students back into an in-person environment, this policy was extended through the 2020-2021 school year and remained in place when students returned to campus in April 2021.

“I think [allowing late work] was actually very appropriate [during the pandemic],” Head of Upper School Regina Rosi Mitchell said. “The School did what we needed to do in terms of meeting students where they were. We just wanted students to get stuff in.”

At the end of the 2021-2022 school year, Rosi Mitchell noticed an increase in the number of “incompletes” on report cards. This meant that more students were not turning in their assignments by the last day of the semester because there was no policy that required them to do so. However, Marlborough is unable to leave “incompletes” on transcripts, as the administration and teachers must ensure that students are completing all of their courses. Because no policy enforced the deadline, students were not penalized for turning in assignments throughout the summer, even when all work was officially due in May. 

Thus, Marlborough made an effort to return to stricter deadlines by getting rid of the “no late work” policy for the 2022-2023 school year. Students were given one free extension per semester in each class and were otherwise expected to complete all their work on time, barring unforeseen circumstances. However, a new problem arose when teachers found that an unprecedented number of students were saving their free extensions until the end of each semester. Rosi Mitchell explained it was unfeasible for teachers to hold so many out-of-class assessments in a short period of time because of the way Marlborough’s schedule is structured. As a result, the School decided to curtail extensions for the 2023-2024 school year unless deemed necessary by teachers. 

“We really do believe that deadlines actually serve to help students … the reality is that real life comes with deadlines and we want students to understand that,” Rosi Mitchell said.

While some students recognized that it was necessary to return to previous deadline standards, others were more opposed to this shift. 

“I didn’t even use most of the [free extensions], but just knowing that they were there made me feel so much safer and made me feel like I could prioritize my mental health if I really needed to,” Lana ’24 said. 

At the end of the fall 2023 semester, all work was to be turned in by 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 14, the last day of the semester. To avoid confusion, the School mandated that all departments hold the same deadline. Rosi Mitchell believes that holding firm deadlines is in the best interest of Marlborough’s students and teachers. 

“All Marlborough students work so hard and care about academics, and our goal is that they do the work in the right way,” Rosi Mitchell said. 

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Abigail '24
Abigail '24, Co-Editor in Chief
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