Secondary Grading

  • What grades will be assigned to students?

    • Secondary students are expected to complete course assignments and will be graded using the letter grades A, B, C, D or incomplete. The grade will reflect the student’s understanding on critical standards taught with maximum flexibility. It is important to recognize that distance education is a new way of teaching and learning for all. Mastery in the context of online learning will be recognized as different than mastery in a traditional classroom.
    • The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) communicated in guidance distributed on April 21 that districts are not allowed to assign a Pass/Fail, or F grades.

    How will grades be determined and reported?

    • Semester course grades will be based on 3rd quarter and 4th quarter performance. Emphasis upon 4th quarter performance will be placed on participation in completing assignments, engagement, and educator recognition that online learning is in no way equitable to in-class support and learning for all students. A student’s overall grade for 2nd semester will not be lowered from the grade the student had prior to the closure. This aligns with OSPI’s guidance on “doing no harm” to students, although an incomplete may be assigned to indicate the need for learning recovery.
    • Teachers will focus graded assignments on the most important standards and use their professional judgement to determine the type of assignments to grade and the number of assignments used to determine a final grade.
    • Teachers will not report 3rd quarter grades on a formal report card, but instead will focus grading and reporting on the overall 2nd semester grade.

    When will an incomplete grade be assigned and what does it mean?

    • Teachers will assign letter grades, or they will assign an “incomplete” for students who cannot engage in an equitable way where extenuating circumstances exist. An “incomplete” indicates that students need an opportunity to reengage in the learning standards distributed/assigned during the closure.
    • Teachers will collaborate with counselors, administrators, and parents regarding the assignment of an incomplete. The decision to assign an incomplete will be based on student performance and individual factors, recognizing the prohibitive barriers that exist and that this new environment is a challenge to students’ access and mastery. Priority consideration will be given for additional factors including but not limited to special education, 504 accommodations, English Language Learners, technology challenges, and mental health.
    • Students assigned an “incomplete” for a course will be given opportunities to reengage in the learning standards based on consultation with the student/parents/guardians, including but not limited to:
      • Summer school
      • Courses in the following term or year
      • Independent study
      • Competency-based courses
      • Online courses
      • Backfilling the incomplete grade with the letter grade obtained in the next course taken in that subject area

    What other considerations should students and parents be aware of?

    • Every student will get an opportunity to improve their grade with their March 17 status as a baseline.
    • Every class taken during the closure period will be given a statewide designator on the high school transcript to denote the unique COVID-19 environment in which the course was taken.
    • Beginning May 22, high school seniors may apply to the school principal for a credit waiver or grade appeal. Assignment of an incomplete reflects the need for the student to recover the learning opportunity. Due to the limited opportunity for seniors to engage in activities to recover learning, the use of a waiver is an appropriate option.
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