Turn it in

Love Dunn, staff

Tick. Tock. A bead of sweat between your brows, the scratch of paper as pencil meets its match, computer keys clacking away. Time is running out. 11:59 p.m. The forever dreaded deadline, the time all assignments are due. 

Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. When asked about the craziest late work policy a teacher has ever had, Senior Henry Caldicott responded, “I dunno… like being able to turn in work a month late and still not getting points off.” In contrast, another student answered at the other end of the spectrum: “My old health teacher wouldn’t let us turn in assignments after the due date. He wouldn’t accept them. He’d give us a zero,”  reported a sophomore, Kai Murray. 

While both examples are extreme, the official MCPS guidelines about late work give teachers lots of freedom. When it comes to late work, they only have a few restrictions. They must give at least half-credit if something is turned in by interims or by the end of the quarter if the assignment took place during the second half. Then, only students with I’s (Incompletes) may turn in work unless the teacher files extensive paperwork. 

An ‘incomplete’ is another special circumstance where MCPS grants extensions for students. If for some reason a student is unable to complete all of their coursework by the end of the quarter with documented reason, a teacher has the option to give them an I. This allows students to continue to turn in assignments for three weeks after the end of the quarter with no penalty. However, to receive an Incomplete, a student must have a good reason, as well as documentation from doctors, therapists, or administration explaining this need.

The homework rules are different. As of the second semester of the 2022-2023 school year, teachers may only grade homework on completion/tardiness. If students turn in their homework, the only possible deduction of points they can receive is due to it not being turned in on time. 

Most teachers at B-CC have reasonable late work policies, which emphasize learning over rigid deadlines. A yoga teacher, Ms. Caitlyn Potts, stated, “I don’t close out assignments so people can still turn them in […] But if people turn in late assignments unless it’s an excused absence, then I take off points.”

This was the general trend among B-CC teachers, with slight variations. “Normally, my deadline is when we have an assessment on that material because, after that, it can’t help you,” a Biology teacher, Mr. Daniel Dutton, added. “Even with these lenient policies, why do students turn in late work in the first place?”

A B-CC senior, Bui, stated, “Like with school, I’m just done. I’m over it. Other times procrastination is probably the top for why people turn in things late.” Other B-CC students agreed with this sentiment. “I think people are just lazy,” a freshman, Aliya Ramirez-Skolnik echoed. “They don’t want to do the work.” But another reason abounds beyond procrastination and laziness. Some students feel like their course load is too heavy. Sophomore Hannah Brooker stated succinctly: “I think teachers forget we have other classes.”