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  • Steven Erquiza

SFUSD: New Grading Policy For Distance Learning

Schools were officially closed on March 16, in San Francisco Unified School Districts (SFUSD) but before that, some schools in California were closed much earlier due to a higher risk of COVID-19 outbreak. Ever since this happened, online school/distance learning has been implemented. Students had no choice but to attend school from their homes. SFUSD has provided more than 10,700 mobile devices to students in 3rd through 12th grades and more than 1,500 hot spots to students. SFUSD has helped over 3,000 teachers and staff to make the necessary adjustments for the online teaching, and SFUSD has distributed over 11,000 learning kits and 33,000 books to students in PK through 2nd grade. Despite all of that help, most students still find it hard to transition to online learning because most students have never experienced online learning.

Sometimes, change can be challenging, and in this case, it is for the students. First, students have little to no face-to-face interaction from the teachers and their classmates. Sure, you see each other in your online classes, but it's not the same as being in the same room, bonding with your teachers and classmates. Second, students need to have more self discipline. Now they need to keep themselves in check to finish their school work, and it's harder to focus at home because the distractions and temptation to procrastinate are more extreme. A third reason, teachers are giving more school work, which may impact students badly. Especially now, considering this pandemic and the pitfalls that came with it like shelter-in-place, unemployment, loss of a loved one, or homelessness. We do not know what the students are going through in their household. They have to worry about more problems by dumping more school work on them on top of other issues they are encountering.

The SFUSD is trying to find a way to help and make the adjustments that students need to be able to succeed in this current learning system. So, as of April 14, 2020, The San Francisco Unified School District was considering giving A's to all students in middle school and high school for the current term. But sadly, it was not approved because giving the students A grades could complicate admissions to colleges. They wouldn't know if the student is learning or if they are even trying to learn and if they are doing school work. So sorry guys, I know that could've been a dream come true, but I still bring good news.

Finally, as of April 28, 2020, The SF Board of Education has decided and unanimously approved a new grading policy for all San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) students for the time that school buildings are closed, and distance learning takes place. For students in grades 6 through 12, teachers will assign "Credit / No Credit" for each course. This means if a student is marked as "No Credit," for seniors, they have to submit make-up work before July 31 to receive "Credit." For all other students, they have to submit make-up work before the first day of fall classes to receive "Credit." For students in Transitional Kindergarten through 5th grade, teachers will only provide feedback and comments on how the students are performing in their online classes. For students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), grades will be provided according to the plan that they are assigned. So for worried students, because they didn't do their projects or they missed some homework, then you guys have time to make up for it.

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