Updated District Grading & Graduation Requirements

Following the announcement of school closures through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, C2C’s partner districts have adjusted grading and graduation requirements, ensuring that students on track to graduate this May are afforded the opportunity to do so, while also allowing for flexibility as they and their families adapt to challenging circumstances. The changes for C2C’s partner school districts can be found below, and will be updated as each district approves new guidelines:

Guidance from the Arizona Department of Education:

During this time, the Arizona Department of Education encourages schools to continue to provide educational opportunities to students to the best of their ability. We will continue to develop and share guidance to schools regarding instructional time, statewide testing, provision of special education services, school meals, and more.

Educator & Staff Pay:

  • A public school shall continue to pay all its employees, including hourly employees, for the duration of the statewide closure as long as employees: (1) commit to being available during work hours and (2) are able to perform tasks remotely. If an employee is unable to work remotely, schools shall re-assign the employee with other tasks they can perform.
  • The legislation allows schools to continue paying contract workers like SLPs and other therapy services. Contractors should talk with their contract companies and districts to ensure continuity in pay.

Make-Up Days:

  • Schools are not required to extend the number of school days or add additional instructional hours after the statewide closure ends.

Statewide Assessments – (AZM2, MSAA, etc.):

  • Statewide assessments for 2019-2020 (AZM2, MSAA, AIMS Science, etc.) are canceled.
  • The U.S. Department of Education announced on Friday, March 20, 2020 that the federal requirement for testing is waived for all states. ADE is working on submitting a waiver accordingly.

High School Graduation:

  • Notwithstanding any other rule, local education agencies shall not withhold academic
    credit or a high school diploma from a student solely because the student missed
    instructional time due to a school closure issued by the Governor.
  • Notwithstanding any other rule, when determining if a student meets the minimum course
    of study and competency requirements pursuant to Article 3 in a school year that the
    Governor issues a school closure, local education agencies may consider the successful
    completion of educational opportunities provided to the student during the school closure.
    Educational opportunities are determined by the local education agency and may include,
    but are not limited to, the following:

1. Independent study provided online or through printed materials; and
2. Online instruction.

  • If a local education agency is unable to consider or unable to provide the educational
    opportunities pursuant to subsection B, the local education agency may determine the
    student meets the minimum course of study and competency requirements if the student
    met or was on track to meet the minimum course of study and competency requirements
    prior to the school closure. Evidence that a student was on track to meet the minimum
    course of study and competency requirements is determined by the local education agency
    and may include, but is not limited to, passing grades issued by the student’s teacher or
    passing scores on locally or nationally administered assessments. It is the intent of the
    Board that all schools attempt, to the extent possible, to provide educational opportunities
    to students during a school closure issued by the Governor.
  • Local education agencies that issue academic credit and high school diplomas to students
    pursuant to subsections B and C shall issue transcripts and diplomas to students in the same
    manner as the local education agency would if there was not a school closure issued by the
    Governor.
  • This section applies only to the 2019-2020 school year and the graduating class of 2020.

Tucson Unified School District:

  • Third-quarter grades will be used as final grades for the year.
  • During the fourth quarter, students' grades cannot be lowered, instead, they can do course work to help raise their grades only.
  • All 12th-grade students that were passing their classes at the time of the school closures will receive that passing grade with the option to raise it with extra coursework.
  • The district is requiring that students attend for four years.
  • Students must be taking a full course workload, meaning 6 classes or more.
  • Both of these requirements may be waived by a principal or designee.

Sunnyside Unified School District

  • For grades K – 8, all grading will be Pass/Fail for the 4th quarter with the exception that grade eight courses being taken for high school credit (eg. Algebra 1, Spanish...etc.) will follow the provisions for grades 9-12 set forth below.
  • For grades 9-12, a “maintain or improve” policy shall be observed. All high school students will be permitted to either maintain their 3rd quarter grade or work to improve it by completing assignments offered by teachers during the 4th quarter and/or by re-doing and resubmitting assignments that were provided during the 3rd quarter.
  • All students are expected to make a good faith effort to participate in the remote learning opportunities provided by the District and to make a good faith effort to complete assignments given by teachers.
  • For students who are struggling or not engaging in work provided, teachers shall make multiple attempts to engage the student. If the student continues to struggle, teachers shall enlist the assistance of site administrators and counselors to provide additional guidance and support on a case-by-case basis.
  • All teachers shall focus their communication with students and families on developing student agency and identity as learners and shall concentrate on formal learning concepts that will be helpful when students return to school next year. Emphasis shall be given to providing regular feedback to students.
  • All District teachers will, to the extent reasonably possible, adhere to the guidelines established by the State in R7-2-302.11 Minimum Course of Study and Competency Requirements.

Marana Unified School District

  • Formal grades and grading will be suspended during the school closure. However, teachers will share feedback with students on general educational learning opportunities. Teachers are encouraged to document performance in the District’s grade book so that parents will continue to receive information on student’s progress and to maintain a record of learning opportunities.
  • With the Governor's announcement to close schools through the remainder of the school year, the District is waiting for guidance from the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona State Board of Education regarding documenting student academic progress as well as awarding credit at the high school level.
  • Examples of feedback: 
    • Comments on Google docs 
    • Comments to individual students through Google classroom 
    • Verbal formative feedback during a Zoom meeting 
    • Comments on a student Flipgrid, EdPuzzle 
    • Whole class feedback on Screencastify
    • Asking questions to further discussion or prompt thinking/clarify student ideas
  • Dual Enrollment Courses: High school students enrolled in dual enrollment courses will be contacted by their dual enrollment teachers regarding the remaining requirements for dual enrollment courses. 
  • Distance Learning: Students currently enrolled in alternative education courses and Marana Distance Learning should continue to move forward with their coursework.

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