There Are Only Two Weeks Left in the Quarter.

Dylan works weekends – and actually Thursdays and Sundays – during the Halloween season. He loves this job. He doesn’t get paid, except in Social Service Learning hours, so he is technically a volunteer.

As such, he can lose his job if he doesn’t keep up his grades. He has only 24 hours to “fix” any missing work that appears in the computerized gradebook. Either his teacher must change the grade, or write a note that explains that the work has been turned in.

Dylan has been coming home with notes throughout the Halloween season, and he brought his grades up – and kept them up – from a 1.7 to a 2.7. According to house rules, he is doing everything right to keep his job.

But over the weekend, on a Saturday afternoon in fact, his grade tanked in Algebra 2. Quite suddenly, he went from a low B to a low D in the class, thanks to an incomplete test and a take-home quiz that was, apparently, never turned in.

This happened on a Saturday afternoon. So Dylan couldn’t – literally could not – fix the problem. He was already at work when I discovered it, and still had a full day-and-a-half before he could go to school and take care of it.

So I emailed the teacher, asking as gently as I could, “What happened?” Then I wrote a note to Dylan, outlining the grades he had, the missing work that was, in spite of the handwritten notes, still missing.

While he still has a 2.7 GPA, even with the “missing” work that hasn’t been graded yet, I noticed that he is only one point away from dropping a full letter grade in three of his classes. If that happens, his GPA drops to a 2.3.

And there are only two weeks left in the quarter.

More importantly, there’s only one weekend left for his job at Field of Screams. And the upcoming weekend is the biggest one of the year: five full days, including Halloween night.

So I put the note in front of Dylan’s door while he was sleeping (something he hasn’t done much lately). I explained the situation, asked him to reread the outlined expectations, which give him some very specific timelines and consequences.

He fixes it on Monday, all of it, or he doesn’t work on Halloween weekend.

I am holding my breath.

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