Board of Education Addresses Student Grading

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May 6, 2020 – At the May Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Patty Saelens shared modifications to grading procedures. Due to the unexpected closure of schools, the Continuity of Learning plan was developed to provide students learning opportunities at home. This has created inequities among students who are unable, through no fault of their own, to fully access these opportunities. As a result, grading will be adjusted as follows:

ALL COURSES

  • P (promoted) for students who participate and make progress
  • NG (no grade/no work submitted) for students who do not engage
  • 4th quarter interims will not be issued

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

  • Pre-K through 2nd grade: 3rd quarter grades will serve as 4th quarter grades
  • Grades 3-5: For 4th quarter, P (promoted) in courses that receive a letter grade unless the student has not made progress throughout the school year

MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Final grades will be an average of the first three quarters.
  • 4th quarter: P (promoted) and NG (no grade/no work submitted)

HIGH SCHOOL

All courses:

  • Final exams will be waived for all students. It is not possible to provide a secure testing environment or adequate access to all students.
  • All students will be ‘held harmless’ by the impact of COVID-19 on their progress.
  • Quarter 4 interims will not be produced.

Semester Courses:

  • Final grade of a P – credit will be awarded for that course
  • Final grade of NG – students will have an opportunity to earn the credit over a special Summer 2020 learning plan
  • All students graded a D or E for the 3rd quarter will need to earn a P in the 4th quarter to achieve a P for the 2nd semester.

Dr. Simmons shared that the committee considered many options and plans, including those of neighboring school districts, before making a recommendation to the superintendent. “We appreciate students that are working hard but we have to put an equitable system in place that supports all students,” Dr. Simmons said.

Dr. Saelens said, “We do not want the inequities that exist within the current landscape to impact students. We are limited by internet access and an inability to collect packets as per direction from the Maryland State Department of Education. How do you record student progress in a manner that holds students harmless while still supporting their efforts to learn?”

ATHLETICS

Modifications to the grading process impact the Athletic Eligibility Policy. The modification requires that semester grades be excluded from the GPA calculation which means it is not possible to implement the carry-over provision of athletic eligibility. The Board voted to grant a waiver for the fall sports season of the 2020-2021 school year.

Related News Release: Board Waives 2020 Graduation Requirements and Valedictorian Policy