Watertown City School District announces how grades will be determined during COVID-19 epidemic


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) – As school campuses remain closed and students participate in classes via distance learning, many parents and students are wondering what grading will look like.

Watertown City School District released an update for how grades will be determined for Marking Periods 3 and 4.

The school is grading on the following:

For Grades K-4:

  • Marking Period 3 will end on April 27, 2020. Students will receive a grade for effort, the scale of which is:
    • O – Outstanding
    • S – Satisfactory
    • I – Inconsistent
    • N – Needs Improvement
  • Grades will be reported by May 7, 2020. Actual individual learning standards and learner behaviors will not be assessed for this time period.
  • Marking Period 4 will begin on April 28, 2020. Given the unique circumstances of virtual instruction and COVID-19, and not knowing when the extended school closure will end, students will receive only effort grades for Marking Period 4 as well.

For Grades 5-12:

  • Marking Period 3 will end on April 27, 2020.
  • Students will receive a grade of Pass/Fail for each course, reflecting five weeks of in-class instruction and the instruction via distance learning through April 27.
  • Marking Period 4 will begin on April 28, 2020. With the same regard to students at grades K-4 and the unique circumstances of learning that this period of extended closure presents and not knowing when the closure will end, students will receive Pass/Fail grades for Marking Period 4, too, regardless of the date of return for students.

The following flow chart was provided by the school to demonstrate how grades are being determined:

With regard to course credit, students will be awarded credit on the basis of the overall course average from marking periods 1 and 2.

Semester two courses will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis only. Students who would have failed the course on this basis will have the opportunity to pass the course if they put forth effort and show progress during what would ultimately be the Quarters 3 and 4 Pass/Fail marks, the same as if numerical grades were assigned for these quarters.

GPAs will only be calculated based on marking period 1 and 2 grades for the 2019-2020 school year. There will be no final exams this year, inclusive of in-class examinations and Regents exams.

All students are encouraged to participate in the assignments and learning tasks provided by their teachers. Connecting with teachers in Google Classroom, via Zoom, or other technology will also demonstrate student efforts. Additionally, completing tasks and any previously assigned work that may have been incomplete prior to this period of closure can help show student progress.

The district’s goal is to ensure that, whenever students return to school, they are both successful and comfortable in the environment.


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