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Superintendent's letter to families on the District's grading policy

Dear FCUSD Families,

I am writing to you, to share an important update to our District’s grading policy.

At the May 1 Special Board Meeting, our Board voted to adopt a grading policy, with the intent to align with California Department of Education (CDE) guidance to hold students harmless for their spring grades and the transition to distance learning.  There will be no letter grades on report cards for the second semester.  The specifics by grade span are outlined below.

  • Elementary Grades: TK-5 students will not receive grades on report cards. All report cards will reflect a move to distance learning. Teachers will continue to provide feedback and progress towards meeting guaranteed and viable standards to students and families; however, teachers will not be responsible for preparing final report cards.
  • Middle School: Grades 6-8 students will receive Pass or No Mark for each course. All report cards will reflect a move to distance learning. Teachers will assign Pass or No Mark based on students’ grades on or before the schools’ shutdown, March 13, 2020. Students previously at risk to earn a No Mark will have the opportunity to earn a pass. Teachers will continue to provide feedback and progress towards meeting guaranteed and viable standards to students and families.
  • High School: All report cards will reflect a move to distance learning. Student progress will be communicated regularly in PowerSchool and parents will be notified if students are at risk of receiving a No Mark. Folsom High, Cordova High, WalnutWood, Kinney/Prospect & Folsom Lake High Schools: Teachers will assign Credit/No Mark based on students’ grades as of the schools’ shutdown, March 13, 2020, with opportunities to earn course credit. At Vista Del Lago High School, students began their term on March 16, 2020, and students who have shown adequate progress will earn Credit. High School students will have the third quarter grades recorded on transcripts upon request. Third quarter grades will not be reflected in GPA calculations. 

Decisions related to grading as schools implement distance learning are complicated. We are in unprecedented times, experiencing a global pandemic, that is adding to the anxiety and stress inherent in the shift to this new learning environment.  Many of our students are dealing with circumstances outside of their control and the safety and well-being of our students is of prime importance as recommendations related to grading practices were weighed.

We realize there are many questions in regards to grading.  One of the most common questions we have received through stakeholder feedback is if a district adopts a “credit” or “pass” instead of a letter grade, how will that impact a student’s admission to UC or CSU?  In the California State Department of Education guidance dated April 24, 2020, they have answered this question as follows; “The university systems are willing to accept credit/no credit grades in lieu of letter grades for all courses, including A-G courses, completed in winter/ spring; summer 2020 for all students.  Grades of credit/no credit will not affect the UC or CSU calculations of GPA”. (FAQs on Grading and Graduation Requirements)


We will be sharing a list of answers to frequently asked questions we are hearing from our students and families very soon. If you have questions or concerns you would like to share with us, please include them on this Google Survey, so we can collect commonly asked questions and address on our upcoming FAQ website. 

For more information, including the agenda with the MOU document, and links to view the recorded Special Board meeting, please visit the 5-1-20 board agenda and our YouTube channel

Thank you for your understanding, patience, and mostly, for your kindness and support of one another as we face this unprecedented challenge together.

Sincerely,


Sarah Koligian, Ed.D.

Superintendent