As we begin another week of school, I want to share an important update with you about a leadership change at Groveport Madison High School. On Wednesday, September 16, Groveport Madison High School (GMHS) principal, Dr. Jaivir Singh, submitted his resignation, effective July 31, 2021. He will be employed throughout the rest of the school year and has agreed to provide transition guidance and other assistance as we move forward through another challenging school year. Mr. Paul Smathers, District Director of Secondary Education, will serve as interim principal at GMHS until a suitable candidate can replace Dr. Singh. Transparency is important to me, so I want to explain what caused us to make this decision.
Soon after the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we became aware that Dr. Singh had directed staff members to revise and increase the final grades for many students. Dr. Singh believed that changing the grades was the right thing to do under the circumstances of COVID-19. We’ve carefully reviewed the allegations and found that Dr. Singh failed to follow district approved policy or properly communicate with either the superintendent or the school board before taking unilateral action. The grades he directed his staff to change were correct, and his changes were inconsistent with the district-approved COVID-19 grading policy.
While we understand that the challenges from COVID-19 are unprecedented and have made both classroom instruction and learning more difficult, Dr. Singh could have and should have handled those challenges more effectively. We relied on him to oversee the difficult interplay between state guidance on COVID-19 and our district-approved grading policies or seek clarification if he had uncertainty regarding expectations for such an important issue.
It's important to know that no Class of 2020 graduates were adversely affected by these grade changes. From what we know now, about 300 students had at least one of their course grades increased, typically by only a few percentage points. Other students had a grade of “incomplete” that was changed to “pass” during the fourth quarter of pass/fail grading. We’re still investigating to ensure we’ve identified all affected students.
It’s important to note that all grades will remain the same as recorded on students' final grade cards for the year, and no student will be negatively impacted. The district and high school administration will work with any students impacted and their families to ensure their academic needs are met. We’re still finalizing our review of this situation, and we will begin contacting parents of any students who were affected by these changes as soon as possible.
As always, we’ll continue to do our very best to honor the trust parents place in us as we work together to prepare our students for their successful future.