Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education sets graduation and grading requirements related to COVID-19 closure

Published 10:20 am Thursday, April 9, 2020

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On Tuesday, the WS/FCS Board of Education waived any additional local graduation requirements by voting to follow guidance issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. NCDPI calls for high school seniors to meet only the minimum state board of education requirements of 22 credits on or before the originally scheduled graduation date. That means, if seniors have passed classes and met all requirements by the time third quarter grades are posted, their year will be marked complete by the end of April.

WS/FCS Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston said, “We have made our best efforts to align all of our requirements with the recommendations made by the state board of education and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. We want to do what is best for students during these unusual times.”

For seniors the guidelines are as follows:

Fall courses: Seniors will receive grades for fall courses as already recorded, yearlong and semester. Fall grades will count toward GPA. For year-long courses, the fall term grade will be counted into the GPA. For semester-long courses, the final course grade will be counted into the GPA.

Yearlong courses: Grades from the first three quarters to determine a passing and failing status toward graduation requirements.

Spring courses: Based on their learning and grades prior to March 13, Seniors will be given a “pass” or “fail” for spring courses, or they can opt to “withdraw.”

If the senior has a failing grade as of March 13 for graduation requirement courses, schools will provide eLearning opportunities for the student to work toward a passing grade.

Graduation requirement guidance for seniors: NCDPI’s goals for the senior class of 2020 are to graduate high school seniors by meeting the minimum state board of education graduation requirements, which is 22 credits by the originally scheduled graduation date.

Remote learning for graduating seniors will be prioritized to focus on meeting graduation requirements with a particular emphasis on students who were not meeting expectations as of March 13. Teachers and counselors will provide targeted support to each senior who is in danger of not meeting graduation requirements.

Seniors who completed and/or were passing their required courses as of March 13 will be notified of their graduation status on April 27. April 27 would be the end of the academic year for those meeting the requirements.

Students taking Advanced Placement (AP) and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can continue eLearning through any required exams in order to meet the requirements of those specialized learning programs.

Students who have not met the requirements by April 27 will continue to be supported by teachers as they work to help them complete instruction and learning virtually. They will have until June 11 to complete coursework and requirements.

For students in lower grades, WS/FCS teachers will enter grades for work assigned through March 13.  March 13 will serve as the end of the third quarter; however, eLearning work will also be considered for grades and evidence of third quarter content mastery. Students will have until April 11 to submit missing assignments for third quarter work. Third-quarter grades for grades 3-11 will be posted on April 24.

K-2 teachers will provide grades and comments only for those standards that were thoroughly taught by March 13 and assessment data is available.

Fourth quarter eLearning will continue based on the essential learning necessary for students to be prepared for the next grade level. Teachers will continue to support learning and provide ongoing feedback and record grades for their students. All students will be supported through this time and will not be penalized due to the current eLearning environment.

If we are not able to return to school on May 15, the state will provide further guidance to inform our grading guidelines for the fourth quarter.