Story and photo by Noah Kuhn
Associate News Editor
The South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) School Board unanimously passed an emergency district grading policy in a special board meeting on Thursday, Apr. 9. The new structure impacts elementary, middle, and high school grades in addition to senior graduation requirements and the district’s late work policy.
SPHS students will have the option to choose a Credit/No Credit grade for the second semester, which will not impact their grade point average (GPA). Any grade 60 percent or greater will be marked as a credit grade. Students must select that option before May 29, 2020, or they will receive a letter grade by default.
Students who choose to remain with the traditional letter grade system are guaranteed to end the semester with a grade greater than or equal to what they earned in the third quarter. Letter grades for the second semester will factor into student GPA. Furthermore, the second-semester grade will be weighted: 60 percent third quarter and 40 percent fourth quarter.
Middle schoolers will all automatically receive a Credit/No Credit grade, also with 60 percent as the dividing line and no effect on their GPA. Elementary school students will not get a grade nor marks for behavior and effort for the third trimester, although teachers can comment on their performance.
The new policy suspends the 45-hour community service graduation requirement for the graduating high school class of 2020. It also amends the district’s late work policy, ensuring that students will have the opportunity to make-up missed school work from the third and fourth quarters for a full credit for the remainder of the semester.
Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Christiane Gervais collaborated with middle and high school department chairs, administrators, and many other school districts in Los Angeles County to develop the grading policy. SPUSD will email out the updated plan to parents and students on Friday, Apr. 10.