Most Recent Update–June 1: TEA Offers Optional End-of-Year Assessments Online
Austin ISD Board Temporarily Updates Grading, Graduation Policies due to Indefinite Campus Closures
The Austin ISD Board of Trustees temporarily updated district policy regarding graduation and grading for the 2019-20 school year in response to ongoing campus closures due to COVID-19 precautions.
Under the new policy, all students will receive either Pass or Incomplete grades rather than traditional grades. Teachers will provide feedback on student performance and monitor progress. A record of incomplete will not affect a student’s ability to advance to the next grade or graduate, but rather will identify students who need extra support in the summer or next year.
Austin ISD is first focused on the whole child’s physical and mental health amidst the separation from campus communities. AISD staff will continue to work with students and families to support needs as the district transitions into continuous learning.
Revisions to Grading
As Austin ISD students, families, and community move through this unprecedented time, the focus of our students’ well being remains front and center. In order to ensure that progress in monitored while also attending to the individual burden each family is encountering, Austin ISD is implementing the following:
- For the spring semester of the 2020 school year, all students will receive a P (pass) or I (incomplete).
- Teachers will provide feedback on student performance and monitor students’ progress toward proficiency of skills and content.
- An Incomplete will not be used for promotion or retention, but rather to identify students in need of extra support this summer or the following school year.
The fourth and fifth six-weeks grades will be combined into one 10-week grading period. This combined grading period will serve as evidence of the student’s performance in the third quarter of learning.
All final grades for the spring semester will be entered as “Pass” or “Incomplete”.
Yearlong averages will be calculated by averaging the fall semester (50%) and the average of the grades earned during the 10-week spring 2020 grading period (50%).
This ensures that students who failed the fall 2019 semester of a yearlong course will be permitted to repair failing grades or make up missing assignments in order to earn the year long credit.
How will my senior meet graduation requirements?
All cohort 2020 student records will be reviewed to ensure students are on track to satisfy all requirements in their personal graduation plan.
The student, caregivers and guidance counselors will create a plan of action for any student at-risk of not completing all requirements for graduation.
Students in cohort 2020 will be able to continue working to meet graduation requirements.
- Students who have not passed one or more STAAR examinations are eligible for the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) process. Seniors will need to complete their assigned IGC Courses via Garza Online to meet all state testing requirements.
- All graduation plans will target a May 26, 2020 completion. Parents of students who are not successful in meeting requirements for graduation shall be informed of any available options, such as an extended year program or summer school.
How does this impact students’ rank GPA?
Final rank GPA for cohort 2020 students will be calculated according to AISD’s policy using grades transcripted through the Fall 2019 semester. Rank GPA is used to determine the top 10% of the class and the valedictorian and the salutatorian for the class of 2020.
Final rank GPA for the 2020 school year for all grade levels will be calculated according to AISD’s policy using grades transcripted as of 12/20/19.
Cumulative GPA calculations will not include grades transcripted from the Spring 2020 semester.
How will students earn a P or an I for the second semester?
All assignments and assessments considered in the spring of 2020 must have been due prior to March 13, 2020.
Students can make up or repair any prior assignments assigned during the spring 2020 semester (10-week spring semester grades)
How will this affect AP, IB, and CTE exams and certifications?
Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Dual Credit, OnRamps, and specific Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses that result in certification and/or articulated or be transferred for college credit will follow the curriculum and regulations of the respective external governing agencies beyond AISD’s local control. Teachers will continue in the prescribed curriculum including feedback to students, review activities, and preparation for their end of year assessments or certifications.
What about Dual Credit courses?
Students enrolled in dual credit courses will earn a P for Pass, a I for Incomplete, or a D for Drop.
How will students keep up in Fine Arts or athletics?
Students in performance-based courses such as fine arts, Career and Technical Education, athletics, world languages, or others will continue working on their proficiencies using individual videos, performance and technique challenges, and continuous skill development to keep students actively engaged.
What does this mean for middle school students?
As with high school students, the fourth and fifth six-weeks grades will be combined into one 10-week grading period and compromise the third quarter of the school year.
All final grades for the Spring semester will be entered as “Pass” or “Incomplete”.
Yearlong averages will be calculated by averaging the fall semester (50%) and the average of the grades earned during the 10-week spring 2020 grading period (50%). Students who are in danger of not earning the yearlong credit will be able to repair their grades in order to earn the final year-long credit.
Assignments and Assessments
- All assignments and assessments considered in the spring of 2020 must have been due prior to March 13, 2020.
- Students can make up or repair any prior assignments assigned during the spring 2020 semester (10-week spring semester grades)
- Incompletes will not be used for promotion or retention, but will be used to identify students who will need extra help and support next school year through small group instruction and/or tutorials.
How will middle school students enrolled in high school courses earn credit?
The same high school guidelines apply for middle school students; however, middle school guardians/students will also have the opportunity to drop any high school credit courses taken during the 19-20 school year during the fall semester of the 20-21 school year.
How will elementary students keep up with their learning?
Teachers will work closely with their students all year either through online learning, emails with pictures of students’ completed work, or even joint phone calls with caregivers and students.
Teachers will monitor student progress on the most important skills, content and standards that will prepare our young people for success next year. Teachers will be in communication with parents and caregivers regarding their students’ progress. Students will be identified who may be in need of extra support in the summer or the following school year.
Our Social-Emotional Learning Department will design community outreach through creative activities that encourage social emotional wellness while respecting social distancing. Examples include Zoom meetings where students can bring and introduce their pets or a carnival designed to be driven through without attendees leaving their vehicle.
What do I do if I don't have access to a computer or the internet?
As a district we pride ourselves on our innovation as well as a commitment to leveling the playing field. We realize that not every family will have access to a computer and the internet, that's why we've begun the following initiatives to help.
- Chromebook and WiFi hotspot distribution for grades 6-7 (soon to be expanded to grades 3-5)
- Retrofitting buses with WiFi to park in high-needs areas
- Paper packets and school supplies distribution at certain sites
- Many screen-free lessons on our AISD Learning At Home website
We've also designed the AISD Learning At Home website to be easily viewable on any device. Regardless, we know that at the end of the day not every family will have the same amount of access to these resources. Families who cannot access a computer will use the packet pickups at the meal sites. Teachers will then monitor progress through over the phone conversations with parents and students.