Clear Creek ISD Modifies Grading Guidelines During COVID-19 Closure

Clear Creek ISD Modifies Grading Guidelines During COVID-19 Closure
Posted on 04/07/2020

(si quiere leer esto en español, vea abajo)

The Clear Creek Independent School District is joining a growing number of educational institutions and moving the second semester to a Pass/Fail grading system due to the Coronavirus crisis. Under this modified grading system, daily grades that culminate in a 60% or higher average will constitute as a Pass and credit earned for the semester for students in grades 6-12. Grade level advancement/classification will be determined by the overall average of the first semester and the Pass or Fail indicators for the second semester.  

Since a Pass or Fail is not part of the Clear Creek ISD Grade Point Scale, the second semester will not count towards or against a student’s overall class rank or Grade Point Average (GPA). CCISD GPA and Class Rank will be determined by the first semester grades for the 2019-2020 academic year, only. This change does not affect the Class of 2020 honor graduate recognition. Final class rank will be determined by the Fall 2019 GPA.

For elementary students, Standards-based grading will continue with a focus on meeting grade level targets for the majority of learning objectives. For final grading purposes, the third nine weeks data will be reported on the final report card. A promotion/retention indication will be added to each report card.  Elementary teachers will be contacting parents regarding student progress for the final fourth nine weeks. 

The CCISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution reflecting these changes to grading policies on Monday, April 6 during a special meeting. The resolution reads in part, “during this unprecedented public health crisis certain temporary modifications to the District’s instructional grading and reporting requirements will alleviate academic pressure on students and facilitate the most equitable transition for all students to distance learning.”

“Our goal is to assist students and families through this transition to distance learning, recognizing that while we have the best of the best teachers in place, the internet is not a full replacement of in class instruction. By this change, students, especially at the high school level, can continue to complete assignments with quality and without fear and anxiety of moving down in class rank because of the inherent challenges of distance learning,” said Greg Smith, Superintendent of School.

In the resolution, the board authorized the following modifications to the CCISD grading system:

  1. Base promotion, grade-level advancement, and course credit on “proficiency in the curriculum” rather than “mastery of the curriculum.”
  2. Replace the numerical grading scale for secondary students with a Pass/Fail grading system, with passing being an average of 60 or higher.
  3. Ensure Pass/Fail grades shall be recorded on the academic achievement record but shall not receive grade points nor be used in determining GPA or class rank.
  4. For secondary students, validate proficiency in the skills necessary for success at the next level through daily grades and ensure teachers record only daily grades, with a minimum of one daily grade each week.
  5. For elementary students, define proficiency as meeting grade level targets for the majority of the learning objectives.

The modified grading system does not impact Clear Horizons Early College High School students or Dual Credit students earning college hours as they follow the grading system determined by San Jacinto College and College of the Mainland. Clear Creek ISD would record a P on the student’s CCISD academic achievement record.

District leaders will be discussing these changes during a CCISD Today Livestream event on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 10 a.m. via and CCISD’s Facebook page. The recording will be available for playback as well.

Grading Guidelines FAQs

Why did CCISD choose to move to these grading guidelines?
This temporary modification to grading practices and policies address the innate challenges of distance learning, alleviates the academic pressure on students, and maintains our commitment to cover and deliver instruction so that each child is academically prepared for next school year. We know families continue to struggle with reliable internet access, shared devices and work schedules.

How will grading work under Pass/Fail guidelines?
For secondary students, a cumulative grade of 60% or higher for the 3rd and 4th nine weeks will constitute as “Pass” for the second semester and an earned credit for that semester. A final grade of 60% or higher for the first semester and a pass for the second semester will result in grade averaging for year-long credit and the student will move on to the next course. When students in grades 6-12 receive their final report card, they will receive a “P” for Pass or an “F” for fail for the second semester. These policies are aligned with the recommendations by the Texas Education Agency, as well as many educational institutions.

Why cannot the 3rd nine-week grades be averaged in to first semester grades?
According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), students earn credit for the semester, not just in the 3rd nine weeks. For CCISD to be able to award the credit for the content of the second semester, students need to demonstrate proficiency in the remaining course content, which is the 3rd and 4th nine weeks put together. The 3rd nine weeks alone does not accurately capture proficiency in the overall coursework. The 3rd nine weeks includes daily grades but no major assessments being recorded.
Students have a record of all grades up through the 3rd nine weeks, which can be shared with colleges and universities. The institutions will be taking this into consideration. Most of these institutions already have information on their admissions webpage which addresses districts moving to the Pass/Fail system due to this global pandemic and how they use a wholistic approach when looking at students for admission standards. Admission officers are not just looking at this one semester, but the full body of all coursework the students have completed.

What will a student’s transcript look like with a Pass/Fail? How will colleges interpret this?
A letter “P” or “F” will replace what we are used to seeing as a numeric grade on the transcript for the second semester. If a student receives a “P” they will receive that credit.
Every year, the District sends information to colleges and universities which includes a profile which discusses what the grading policies and processes were for students. Counselors will be making a special note on all high school profiles for the next several years letting colleges and universities know that CCISD moved to this Pass/Fail system because we felt it was in the best interest of all learners. The Educational Planning Guides will also reflect these changes.

Will the students still be able to see their numerical scores?
For grades 6-12, teachers will continue to deliver instruction, issue assignments, and log a minimum of one daily grade per week. The daily grade will be numerical. They will not be issuing major grade assignments for the remainder of the year. Students are expected to continue to complete their daily assignments with a focus on quality of work and demonstrating a level of proficiency.

Will students be penalized for late work being turned in?
No. The District recognizes that our families are struggling in many ways right now. With that in mind, there will be no penalties for late assignments. Grace, patience and understanding are most needed by all during this time.

Will these new guidelines impact a student’s GPA or Class Rank?
No, the Pass/Fail system does not affect GPA or Class Rank. What it does is remove any stress from students who are worried about distance learning. It is about earning course credit only. For the 2019-20 school year, the fall GPA will be used to determine Class Rank for the spring semester. A student’s cumulative GPA will be determined using all grades through the fall semester of 2019.

How does this affect AP classes and special program standings?
College Board is moving forward with plans to have the AP testing done at home. Visit Colleges and universities are saying they will still accept that AP credit. If students are completing a Level 1 class, this will be reflected on their transcript with an indicator showing either that they did complete Advanced Academic and/or Pre-AP work this semester. Colleges will still be able to see students are working hard in the college-preparatory classes and that they are ready for their next step in their journey.


Clear Creek ISD modifica directrices de calificaciones durante el cierre de COVID-19

El Distrito Escolar Independiente de Clear Creek se une a un gran número creciente de instituciones educativas que han decidido modificar el sistema de calificaciones del segundo semestre a promovido/reprobado debido al crisis del Coronavirus. Bajo este sistema de calificaciones modificado, calificaciones diarias que culminan en un promedio de 60% o más se considerará como un promovido y crédito obtenido por el semestre para los estudiantes en grados 6-12. El ascenso/la clasificación de nivel de grado será determinado por el promedio general del primer semestre y los indicadores de promovido o reprobado para el segundo semestre.

Como un promovido o reprobado no es parte de la escala de calificaciones de Clear Creek ISD, el segundo semestre no contará hacia o en contra de la clasificación de clase general o la nota media final (GPA en inglés). La nota media final y la clasificación de clases de CCISD serán determinadas solamente por las calificaciones del primer semestre del año académico 2019-2020. Este cambio no afecta el reconocimiento de graduados de honores de la Clase del 2020. La clasificación final de clase será determinada por la nota media final del otoño 2019.

Para los estudiantes de primaria, la calificación basada en estándares continuará con un enfoque en alcanzando objetivos de nivel de grado para la mayoría de objetivos educativos. Para propósitos de calificaciones finales, los datos de las terceras nueve semanas serán reportadas en la tarjeta de calificaciones final. Un indicador de ascenso/retención será agregado a cada tarjeta de calificaciones. Maestras de primaria se comunicarán con padres con respecto al progreso de estudiantes para las últimas cuartas nueve semanas.

El Consejo Directivo de CCISD aprobó una resolución reflejando estos cambios a las pólizas de calificaciones el lunes, 6 de abril, durante una junta especial. La resolución dice en parte, “durante esta crisis de salud pública sin precedente, ciertas modificaciones temporarias a los requisitos de calificaciones e información del Distrito aliviarán presión académica de estudiantes y facilitará la transición más equitativa al aprendizaje a distancia para todos los estudiantes.”

“Nuestra meta es ayudarles a los estudiantes y a sus familias en esta transición al aprendizaje a distancia, reconociendo que mientras tenemos las mejores maestras trabajando con sus hijos, el internet no es un remplazo completo de la instrucción en clase. Con este cambio, los estudiantes, especialmente al nivel de preparatoria, pueden seguir terminando tareas de calidad sin miedo y ansiedad de bajar en clasificación de clase por los límites inherentes del aprendizaje a distancia,” dijo Greg Smith, Superintendente de Escuelas.

En la resolución, el consejo autorizó las siguientes modificaciones al sistema de calificaciones de CCISD:

  1. Basar promoción, ascenso de nivel de grado, y crédito de curso en “competencia en el currículo” en lugar de “dominio del currículo.”
  2. Sustituir la escala de calificaciones numérico para estudiantes en la secundaria y preparatoria con un sistema de promovido o reprobado, con promovido siendo un promedio de 60% o más.
  3. Asegurar que las calificaciones promovido/reprobado serán registrados en el documento de logros académicos, pero no recibirán puntos de calificación ni serán usados para determinar la nota media final o clasificación de clase.
  4. Para los estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria, validar competencia en habilidades necesarias para éxito en el siguiente nivel en base a calificaciones diarias y asegurar que las maestras solo registren calificaciones diarias, con un mínimo de una calificación diaria cada semana.
  5. Para los estudiantes de primaria, definir competencia como alcanzando objetivos de nivel de grado para la mayoría de los objetivos educativos.

El sistema de calificaciones modificado no afecta a los estudiantes de Clear Horizons Early College High School o a los estudiantes de crédito doble obteniendo horas universitarias porque ellos siguen el sistema de calificaciones determinado por San Jacinto College y College of the Mainland. Clear Creek ISD registraría una P en el documento de logros académicos de CCISD del estudiante.

Líderes del Distrito tendrán una discusión acerca de estos cambios durante un evento de CCISD Today en video directo en internet mañana, el 8 de abril de 2020, a las 10 a.m. por medio de y la página de Facebook de CCISD. La grabación estará disponible para poderla ver después de que concluya el evento. 

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