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Escondido Union HSD  |  AR  5121.1  Students

Grades/Evaluation Of Student Progress During Emergency School Closures   

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In the event that a long-term school closure is needed due to a national, state, or county emergency, a distance learning model will be implemented to provide continued educational opportunities to students. This policy is written with a lens on equity, in collaboration with our bargaining units, and with the primary goal of "doing no harm" to students as they transition to and participate in distance learning. Our primary goal during distance learning is to keep every student engaged. Additionally, we understand that educators' and students' family situations are different and logging online or submitting work every day may not be possible.

In implementing a distance learning model, the needs of all students must be taken into account, including those of English Learners, students with disabilities, homeless and foster youth, and those with multiple access points to digital learning and other tools and materials. For students with disabilities, any changes to learning strategies or grading policies should, as appropriate, be completed in conjunction with the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to ensure that the changes respond to their learning needs.

Students are expected to remain engaged and complete assignments to the furthest extent possible. Teachers will continue to assess student learning, even if state and district testing is suspended during the period of closure. Classroom assessments may inform decisions on further support and resources during distance learning.


The Superintendent or designee shall inform educators when a school closure is enacted and when a distance learning model will be implemented. "Distance learning" means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. Educators will be asked to provide students a range of options in how they demonstrate their understanding of standards during distance learning, allowing them to utilize strategies, technologies, or platforms with which they are already familiar and that fit their context and needs.

During distance learning, students shall be "held harmless," and will not receive a lesser grade than their grade prior to the first date of the long-term school closure. All students who are able to access distance learning are expected to participate regardless of the grade they earned prior to the school closure, in order to gain the knowledge and skills necessary for academic success following the end of the school closure. Students who choose not to participate in distance learning may not be prepared for the next level of coursework.

During the implementation of distance learning, educator-assigned tasks and activities may only result in improving academic and citizenship grades. Educators may offer make-up opportunities for tasks assigned prior to the school closure. Using guidance from the California Department of Education (CDE), the following grading procedures have been developed to ensure equity during distance learning:

No student will be issued a final academic grade lower than the academic grade they had prior to the start of distance learning. Distance learning is a great opportunity for students to continue to learn and improve their grades.

No student will be issued a final citizenship grade lower than the citizenship grade they had prior to the start of distance learning.

If school closures take effect at or near the end of a grading period, the final grade for that grading period will be the grade that was earned prior to the first date of the long-term school closure.

If school closures take effect at or near the beginning of a grading period, student grades will start anew.

Graduation Waiver Due to Emergency School Closure

A Graduation Waiver Due to Emergency School Closure can be submitted for students who are at risk of not meeting graduation requirements due to the following circumstances that may have occurred during the time of the school closure and/or during distance learning:

1. Students who were unable to complete online original credit, credit recovery, or independent study courses during the school closure and therefore were unable to meet graduation requirements prior to the end of the school year when the school closure occurred.

2. Students who were issued an "F" during distance learning and were unable to make-up the credits prior to the end of the final semester of their senior year.

An individual student graduation waiver due to emergency school closure allows a student to earn a diploma without being negatively affected by an emergency school closure. Students and parents/guardians must be informed of the option for an "emergency modified diploma" as stated in the Graduation Waiver Due to Emergency School Closure, and students must meet all of the requirements below in order to be issued an "emergency modified diploma" due to a school closure:

1. Waivers will only be issued for students with incomplete coursework during the semester(s)/quarter(s) when the emergency school closure took place.

2. A maximum of 30 total credits may be waived for each semester of the school closure or a maximum of 20 credits for each quarter of the school closure. The number of credits waived per subject area cannot be lower than the State requirements.

3. Physical Education, VAPA/World Language, Math, Science and Social Science credits cannot be waived, as these courses are required by the State of California.

All individual student graduation waivers due to emergency school closures must be approved by the parent/guardian, site counselor, and site principal.

Grading Reporting Dates

During long-term school closures, progress reporting periods may be suspended. Final grade reporting for all schools will adhere to the same timelines and manner of reporting. Courses and grades will be uploaded to the district's student information system and added to students' cumulative grade history records and maintained on the student's transcript.

Exhibit: Graduation Waiver Due to Emergency School Closure


approved: April 28, 2020 Escondido, California