Board approves fourth quarter grading policy for CCPS students

Board approves fourth quarter grading policy for CCPS students


The Board of Education at its April 21 meeting approved a change to the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) grading policy for students. The policy addresses changes necessary due to the statewide school closure and how teachers can provide fourth-quarter grades. CCPS school buildings are currently closed through May 15; however, teachers continue to provide instruction through distance learning.

The approved grading policy gives credit to students participating in distance learning, including work completed on paper packets and through Apex Learning. CCPS distance learning materials include lessons in critical core content areas, such as English, math, science and social studies, and provides supports for special education and English as a Second Language (ESOL) students.

CCPS instructional staff developed three different policy adjustments for the Board to consider. The Board approved option one provided by staff.  A detailed breakdown of the approved policy is posted on Board Docs here. The approved policy provides students with an opportunity to receive either a pass, incomplete or fail status for the fourth quarter, with different criteria in place per grade level. High school students can also increase their final grade in a course by 5 percentage points if they have a grade higher than a 59 percent at the end of the third quarter and complete fourth quarter distance learning activities. This can increase a high school student’s GPA. 

How students receive pass, incomplete or fail for the fourth quarter

Students will receive a pass grade if there is evidence of distance learning work completed either online or in the CCPS provided lesson packets. Students will receive an incomplete grade if teachers or CCPS staff have not been able to communicate with a student or parent. A student may also receive an incomplete grade if the family has indicated extraordinary circumstances prevented their child from completing distance learning work. Students will receive a failing grade for the school year if they earned a failing grade (59 percent or less) for all three quarters this year and earn an incomplete for the fourth quarter.   

Breakdown of policy by school level

The policy provides specific details for students at all three levels – elementary, middle and high school – as well as students in the Class of 2020. 

High school seniors

The approved policy reduces the number of credits required by CCPS for seniors to graduate. Seniors will need 21 credits to graduate, as opposed to 23 credits for graduation. The policy outlines the following for seniors.

  • Seniors must have 21 credits to graduate.
  • Teachers will average together a senior’s semester and third quarter grades to produce a final grade/percentage.
  • If the final grade/percentage is a failing grade (59 percent or lower), seniors must complete fourth-quarter assignments to receive course credit. Grades/GPAs of seniors with a failing grade who complete fourth-quarter assignments will not change and will reflect the first three quarters of the school year.
  • Seniors who have a passing grade for the first three quarters will receive credit for the course and will be eligible for an increase of 5 percentage points if they complete fourth-quarter assignments. This can increase a student’s GPA.
  • Seniors who do not have access to technology and have a failing grade will have to confirm the completion of fourth-quarter work by phone with school staff or through emailed/posted images of completed work.
  • Seniors who do not meet graduation requirements will be considered for a Superintendent’s waiver to graduate, if recommended by his/her school principal.
  • Students who are not eligible to graduate or to receive credit for a failed course must attend summer school. Students who are successful in summer school will participate in summer graduation.

High school students in Grades 9-11 

  • Students who have a passing grade for the first three quarters will receive credit for a course and will be eligible for an increase of 5 percentage points if they complete fourth-quarter assignments. This can increase a student’s GPA.
  • Teachers will average together a student’s semester and third quarter grades to produce a final grade/percentage.
  • If this final grade/percentage is a failing grade, students must complete fourth-quarter assignments to receive course credit. Grades/GPAs of students with a failing grade whom complete fourth-quarter assignments will not change. Their GPA will reflect the first three quarters of the school year.
  • Students who do not have technology access and have a failing grade (59 percent or less) for the first three quarters can confirm completion of fourth-quarter assignments once schools reopen or approval is given by the state to offer collection sites for completed work. Once CCPS staff can confirm a student completed work for the fourth quarter, an incomplete grade will be changed to passed.
  • Students who are not eligible to receive credit for a failed course must attend summer school.
  • Fourth-quarter work includes either Apex Learning online or paper packet materials in core subjects, as well as Teams assignments given by teachers in elective or Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses.

Middle school students in Grades 6-8 

The goal of distance learning for middle school students is to prepare them for the next grade level. The following is in effect for the fourth quarter for middle school students.

  • Teachers will average together a student’s semester grade and third-quarter grade to produce a final grade.
  • Students who have a passing final grade in a class will pass that class for the school year.
  • Students who have a failing grade, based on the average between the semester and third quarter grades, must complete fourth-quarter assignments to receive credit for the class.
  • Students who do not have technology access and have a failing grade (59 percent or less) for the first three quarters can confirm completion of fourth-quarter assignments once schools reopen or approval is given by the state to offer collection sites for completed work. Once CCPS staff can confirm a student completed fourth-quarter work, an incomplete grade will be changed to passed.
  • Students who do not meet the requirement for passing a class may be promoted to the next grade if recommended by the Student Support Team in collaboration with the parent and CCPS administrative staff.
  • Fourth-quarter work includes either Apex Learning online or paper packet materials in core courses, as well as Teams assignments given by teachers in elective classes.

Grading policy for students in semester courses: Grades 9-12/Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

  • Students who have a passing grade for the third quarter will receive credit for the course and will be eligible for five percentage points point if they complete the fourth-quarter assignments.
  • Students who have a failing grade for the third quarter must complete fourth-quarter assignments to receive credit for the course. Grades/GPA will not change and will reflect the third-quarter grade.

Grades 6-8

  • Students who have a failing third quarter grade must complete fourth-quarter assignments to receive credit for the class.

Elementary school students in kindergarten through Grade 5 

The goal of distance learning for elementary school students in kindergarten through Grade 5 is to prepare them for the following grade level. The following is in effect for the fourth quarter for elementary school students.

  • Students who are eligible for promotion based on the first three quarters of this school year will be promoted to the next grade level.
  • Fourth-quarter grades will be determined as pass or incomplete based on the completion of fourth-quarter activities.
  • Students who received a “not eligible for promotion” mark on their third-quarter report card will be referred to their school’s retention committee. The committee will hold a virtual conference with parents/guardians to discuss the possibility of promotion. The school retention committee, parent and a representative from the CCPS administrative office will make the decision.
  • Students who do not have access to technology can confirm completion of the fourth-quarter work once schools reopen or approval is given by the state for CCPS to offer collection sites. Once CCPS staff can confirm a student completed fourth-quarter work, an incomplete grade can be changed to passed.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,521 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. 

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