Grading Policy Changes for SY 2020-21

**Please note – Updated timelines for requesting a Pass (P) for a letter grade

Updated Grading Policies 

Prior to Spring Break, Dr. Brabrand released updated end-of-year grading policies. That letter can be found in its entirety here.  Below we have further clarified what these options mean to your students.   

Grading Policy Changes for High School

In response to family feedback and student check-in results, FCPS will be seeking to lessen the stress and anxiety posed for some students who have been challenged by the virtual learning environment during the past (and ongoing) pandemic year. 

We are adjusting our grading policy for SY 2020-21 to ensure students are not penalized by the challenges brought to us by pandemic learning. 

Key Options for High School Students

  • Use of No Mark (NM) instead of F grades for all courses. (No action needed)
    • In these cases, students would not have an F factored into their GPA. A “NM” would appear on the transcript in lieu of an F.  However, they would still be required to retake the course if it was a graduation requirement.  The course could be taken over the summer, if offered, or the following school year.  
  • Final Exam flexibility that ensures an exam can only serve to improve a student’s grade for the year. (No action needed)
    • Collaborative teacher teams will discuss if a final assessment opportunity will be made available to students.  If a final exam is offered, it can only serve to improve a student’s final grade, not hinder it.  
    • We will not have final exams for our seniors due to the overlap of Advanced Placement exams for this school year.  
  • Allowing students/families to choose a mark of “P” (pass) instead of passing letter grades (C’s or D’s, for example) as their final mark in up to two courses. (Action needed)
    • Students will be granted the opportunity to switch two of their classes to Pass (P) rather than receive a letter grade between A-D. These two classes can be in addition to a previously requested P/F grade and may be in any class of their choosing. However, there are implications that should be discussed with your school counselor – college admissions, NCAA eligibility among others. 
    • Seniors: Should you wish to designate one or more courses as Pass - No Mark status, this form must be submitted to your school counselor by Monday, May 17. Please note that we have extended the previous deadline to allow more time for students and families to gain more information about their fourth quarter progress before making the decision to request a “P”. Once grades are finalized and sent off to colleges, they cannot be changed.
    • Underclassmen: Should you wish to designate one or more courses as Pass - No Mark status, this form must be submitted to your school counselor by Friday, June 4. Please note that we have extended the previous deadline to allow more time for students and families to gain more information about their fourth quarter progress before making the decision to request a “P”. 

4th Quarter Standardized Testing Flexibility

  • Advanced Placement testing options include at-home digital and in-person paper and pencil exams depending on the course. 
  • While the Virginia Department of Education required that SOLs must be offered, there is significant flexibility being offered this year. Students and parents have been contacted if a SOL is necessary and what the students’ opt out options are.

If you have questions regarding one or more of the options above, please reach out to your student(s) Madison School Counselor to discuss further.