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NYC updates grading policy for students amid pandemic stress

coronavirus cluster Brooklyn
Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 17:31:37-04

NEW YORK CITY — The New York City Department of Education has updated its grading policy for the academic year to reflect the challenges many students are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

DOE deputy press secretary Danielle Filson said each school will have the ability to select a grading scale that best fits the needs of its students.

“This year’s grading policy maintains a high bar for student achievement and keeps our students engaged, while being responsive to the flexibility our families need in the ongoing pandemic,” Filson said. “Schools will select a grading scale that meets the needs of their community with a high expectation and the necessary flexibility to best support New York City students.”

Grading for students is as follows:

K-5: Students will not be given failing grades this academic year. Instead, they will receive a grade of “needs improvement.” Parents also have the option of swapping a passing grade to “meets standards.”

6-8: Students will not be given failing grades. Instead, they will receive a grade of “course in progress.” Parents can change a passing grade to a more general “pass” designation, which would not be factored into the student’s GPA. Students are still expected to meet learning outcomes for their courses, according to the DOE.

9-12: Students with failing grades will receive grades of “course in progress.” Parents can change a passing grade to a more general “credit,” which would not be factored into the student’s GPA. Students are still expected to meet learning outcomes for their courses. If they do not meet learning outcomes by the relevant deadlines for completing courses in progress, they will receive a failing final grade.

Middle and high school students who receive “course in progress” grades will need to continue with classes beyond the end of term. Teachers will be expected to provide targeted instruction for individual students that allows them to meet learning outcomes for their courses, according to the DOE.

Schools are being asked to consider a student's full year of work and individual circumstances when issuing final grades.

As for this year's Regents exams, the DOE said it's waiting on guidance from the state.