It was just two weeks ago that Governor Jay Inslee shutdown face-to-face learning in Washington schools for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. Washington state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, said he wants local school authorities to have the ability to pick their grading policies with some guidance from the state.
Superintendent Reykdal said their policy is "do no harm," and no 'F' grades will be allowed for 9-12 grades. K-8 will decide if students have met the learning standards by working with teachers and parents/guardians. If K-8 students did not meet standards they may be held back a year but there was no mention of 9-12 students being held back.
Every 9-12 student will be given an opportunity to improve their grades, but their grade cannot be harmed.
Each district will be allowed to select which letter grades will be given, except for an 'F.' For example, a district can give A-B grades plus incomplete in place of 'F' grades, or A-D grades plus incomplete in place of 'F' grades.
The state will not allow schools to give pass/fail grades. Instead, teachers will assign an 'incomplete' for students that cannot engage in an equitable way. Superintendent Reykdal said he does not expect to see many seniors receive an 'incomplete' but younger students who receive an 'incomplete' will be required to make up the class.
The Spokane Public Schools had previous released information about three options students would have including receiving a pass/fail grade on their transcript which will no longer be allowed by the state.
Additionally, every student during the spring 2019 term will also receive a special mark on their transcript that shows which courses were taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction said students will receive a COVID-19 designator next to the courses that were taken during the pandemic to mark this moment in history on their transcripts to make sure their admissions to colleges in the future is not impacted.
You can find the COVID-19 grading guidance for schools from the Superintendent's Office here.