Mayor unveils new grading policy for NYC public school students amid COVID-19 pandemic

Managing the Pressure
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NEW YORK — As more than one million students across New York City continue remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza unveiled a new grading policy for city public schools.

The grading policy has been designed to reflect students’ learning experience during the circumstances caused by the novel coronavirus and keeps them engaged in remote learning, while upholding course requirements and maintaining expectations.

“Our students, educators, and families are going through a lot right now. I know our students are capable of excellence, and we will continue to hold them to that high standard while adjusting our grading to reflect the unprecedented challenges created by this crisis. We will give every student the support they need to bounce back and continue on their path to success,” de Blasio said.

“Our priority is to minimize stress on families and students, while still providing next year’s teachers with the information they need about an individual student’s progress toward achieving standards,” according to Carranza.

The mayor outlined the new grading system for students:

  • Grades K-5: Students receive grades of “Meets standards or “needs improvement”
  • Grades 6-8: “Meets standards or “needs improvement” or “Course in Progress”
  • High Schools will use existing grading scales.
    • Students who require more time to show mastery will receive “Course in Progress” and enroll in summer-fall support programs.
    • High school students also have the option after receiving a passing letter grade to convert to “Pass” rating, leaving GPA unaffected.
    • Schools have adapted current school year curriculum and assessment for remote learning, including term papers, exams, presentations. Students have until Jan. 2021 to complete outstanding coursework.

Students issued a “Course in Progress” grade means teachers don’t have enough evidence to see if students fully mastered the course and want to do a deeper dive in assessing their progress, Carranza explained.

The mayor also announced the city is planning a virtual graduation ceremony for all graduating students.

“We’re going to do one big celebration of New York City’s high school seniors. We’re going to make it something very special,” he said.

About 247,000 wi-fi equipped iPads have also been shipped to students.

Any student who needs a remote learning device can request one by clicking here.

More details regarding the celebration and additional summer learning plans will be announced in the coming weeks.

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