Update to 2020-2021 School Year Grading Policies
September 11th, 2020
On September 10, 2020, the Howard County Board of Education voted to temporarily suspend sections of the elementary and secondary grading policies to institute procedures and calculations consistent with the HCPSS Reopening Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. The policy changes–effective immediately and set to terminate at the end of the school year–accommodate a shift to a virtual environment and a 4×4 semester schedule.
Highlights of changes to both policies include:
- Students have until September 30, 2020 (extended from September 15, 2020) to turn in Learning Packets to change 4th Quarter SY19-20 grades of Incomplete to Pass.
- The work assigned for asynchronous work periods does not constitute homework under the policy. Students may have assignments to be completed during asynchronous time as well as homework to be completed outside the scheduled school hours.
Highlights of changes to Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Prekindergarten through Grade 5 include:
- Learning Behaviors will not be graded for SY20-21.
- Interim reports will not be issued; instead, ongoing reporting will be handled via Canvas.
- Related Arts courses will be graded only twice per year, during Quarter 2 and Quarter 4.
Highlights of changes to 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School include:
- For courses for high school credit, the withdrawal (W) date has been shortened from 20 days to 14 days after the beginning of the semester.
- For athletic eligibility purposes, the most recent report card before the start of the season will continue to be used to determine a student’s eligibility for participation.
- Midterm examinations have been eliminated, and HCPSS will only require final examinations.
- For middle school students, two quarter grades will be used to compute the final course grade for a 1.0 credit course; one quarter grade will be used to calculate the final course grade for a 0.5 credit course.
- For high school students, two quarter grades and a final exam grade will be used to compute the final course grade for a 1.0 credit course; one quarter grade and a final exam grade will be used to calculate the final course grade for a 0.5 credit course.
- Grade calculations at the high school level will change to the following: for a semester course, 3 points per quarter grade and 1 point for final exam, thus the final exam will represent 1/7 of the final course grade; for a quarter course, 6 points per grade and 1 point for final exam, thus the final exam will represent 1/7 of the final course grade.
Additional information on the policy changes can be found on BoardDocs.