It is the expectation of Dinwiddie County Public Schools (DCPS) that students have the opportunities to make academic progress and to continue to learn and develop during the closure for COVID-19. March 13, 2020 was the effective last day of school due to Governor Northam’s subsequent order to close schools for the remainder of the year. Since the closure, students have been provided access to DCPS instructional materials via virtual learning or paper packets. The following information will outline the grading and reporting procedures for students in grade PK-12. Additionally, information is provided regarding graduation requirements for current seniors.

Elementary School (PK – 5)

Since all elementary courses are year long, students have completed approximately 75% of the course content. ​Student performance in all courses will be based on performance through March 13, the last day for students. ​Therefore to evaluate student performance equitably, students will earn a grade of pass or fail for the second semester. Students will not be issued a grade for the third marking period, rather a pass or fail will be issued at the end of the second semester (4th marking period). ​If the student does not have a passing overall grade as of March 13, then the student will be allowed to continue working in the course to improve his or her grade. This could mean considering student work completed between April 14 and May 29 to demonstrate mastery of essential standards.

Elementary School Promotion/Retention

It is the expectation of DCPS that no student be negatively impacted by the closure. To that end, most students will be moving to the next grade. If grade-level retention was being considered for an elementary school student before the close of schools (March 13), and the school team and parents are in agreement, a continuation of that discussion may proceed. In addition, the interim report for Marking Period 3 (MP3) must have indicated that the student was experiencing difficulty that warranted retention, per Dinwiddie County Public Schools’ Policies and Regulations. The school team and parents should be in agreement about the appropriateness of the proposed placement for 2020-21. The early closure of schools for the 2019-20 school year should not be a factor in retention considerations.

Middle School (6-8)

Since middle school courses are year long [with the exceptions of Science 6, US History 1, and exploratory courses], students have completed approximately 75% of the coursework. Student performance in all courses (to include Science 6 and US History) will be based on student performance through March 13, the last day for students. All students with a grade of 60% or higher on March 13, based on completed work as of that date, will receive a pass (P) for the class. Grades will not be
reported for the third marking period, rather all students will get a pass or fail at the end of the second semester.

We recognize that many students were counting on the next few months to improve their grades and meet their goals for the year. Therefore, teachers will be providing students with opportunities to complete missing work and/or provide alternative activities to increase the student’s grade.

Students with failing grades/missing work will be provided alternative assignments to achieve a passing grade in the course.

  • No assignment or assessment entered in the grade book from work submitted after March 13 should negatively impact a student’s grade.
  • Students have until May 29 to turn in missing assignments and/or to complete alternative activities assigned by the teacher.
  • Teachers will work with and provide reasonable alternatives for students who might not have the necessary materials (to include internet) to complete missing assignments.

A student currently enrolled in a high school credit-bearing course eligible for a verified credit1 during the 2019-2020 school year and who has received the standard unit of credit (passing grade) may be awarded a locally-awarded verified credit, per VDOE waivers. ​The course credit earned by passing, using Pass/Fail, will be excluded from the student’s GPA calculation and a “P” or “F” will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

Middle School Promotion/Retention

It is the expectation of DCPS that no student be negatively impacted by the closure. To that end, most students will be moving to the next grade. If grade-level retention was being considered for a middle school student before the close of schools March 13, and the school team and parents are in agreement, a continuation of that discussion may proceed. In
addition, the interim report for Marking Period 3 (MP3) must have indicated that the student was experiencing difficulty that warranted retention, per Dinwiddie County Public Schools Policies and Regulations. The school team and parents should be in agreement about the appropriateness of the proposed placement for 2020-21. The early closure of schools for the 2019-20 school year should not be a factor in retention consideration.

High School (9-12)

Grades for high school students should be determined as of March 13, 2020.  ​Teachers will assign students a “P” if the student had a grade of 60% or higher. We also recognize that many students were counting on the next few months to improve their grades and meet their goals for the year. Therefore, teachers will be providing students with opportunities to complete missing work and/or provide alternative activities to increase the student’s grade. Regarding failing grades and missing work:

  • No assignment or assessment entered in the grade book from work submitted after March 13 should negatively impact a student’s grade.
  • Students have until May 29 to turn in missing assignments and/or to complete alternative activities assigned by the teacher.
  • Teachers will work with and provide reasonable alternatives for students who might not have the necessary materials (to include internet) to complete missing assignments.

The course credit earned by passing, using Pass/Fail, will be excluded from the student’s GPA calculation and a “P” or “F” will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Promotion/graduation credit will be earned only by a “P”. ​A student currently enrolled in a high school credit-bearing course eligible for a verified credit during the 2019-2020 school year and who has received the standard unit of credit (passing grade) may be awarded a locally-awarded verified credit, per VDOE waivers.

Dual Enrollment

The Virginia Community College System adopted a temporary COVID-19 grading policy that will, by default, use the following scale for courses ending on or before April 6, 2020:

  • P+ Pass with ‘C’ or higher (these courses will transfer)
  • P- Pass with D (these courses will not transfer)
  • W For students who were failing at the end of the semester

P+/P- grades will not impact the student’s John Tyler Community College GPA.

Students who wish to receive a letter grade will be given an option to do so. Stay tuned for more details on this from John Tyler.

If a student has been actively participating and submitting assignments and suddenly becomes unable to continue, teachers may issue an ‘I’ incomplete grade if the teacher believes that it is possible for the student to finish with additional time and support. This option is for students who have completed 60% or more of the course and have a passing grade. Please consult the Dual Enrollment team at John Tyler Community College for details.

Advanced Placement Courses

For students in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, the College Board has announced that students will be able to take their AP exams online at home and has provided preparation materials that AP teachers have access to. It is our expectation that AP teachers continue to work with their students to prepare them for these exams. Please refer to the College Board (​ https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/​) for additional information test dates.

GradPoint and Apex courses

Students who are enrolled in a GradPoint or Apex class, who were passing the course, and completed majority of the essential standards as of March 13 can have the class closed out for the year. Those students will earn the course credit for the class. In Gradpoint and Apex, the “Overall Grade” is the average grade for assignments completed by the student. ​Grades for high school students should be determined as of March 13, 2020.  ​Teachers will assign students a “P” if the student had a grade of 60% or higher. If the student does not have a passing overall grade as of March 13, then the student will be allowed to continue working in the course to improve his or her grade. This could mean assessment retakes or continuing with class instruction and assessments. Students have until May 29 to improve their overall grade.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programming

Students enrolled in cosmetology courses will be eligible to take the licensure examination if their instructor submits a Training Verification form certifying the student completed the VDOE-required training, regardless of the hour amount. Students enrolled in CTE courses that may have state licensing requirements established by regulatory boards have been provided with flexibility. This would include certain courses in trade and industrial education and health and medical sciences. For questions and concerns related to other Trade and Industrial Education programs held at Rowanty Technical Center and John Tyler Community College, students will need to seek the guidance and support from those institutions. For other CTE programs held at DHS, teachers will be sending assignments and instructional support as detailed above.

Graduation Requirements

We understand our seniors and their parents have questions regarding graduation requirements. The good news is DCPS will have wide flexibility to make sure that our current seniors graduate, as long as they are in the classes they already need to meet standard or advanced diploma requirements, and were on track to graduate as of March 13. The following graduation requirements can be waived:

Students currently enrolled in a course for which they need a verified credit in order to graduate;

  • Students who have previously been awarded standard credit, but have not earned the associated verified credit;
  • Students who have not completed the student-selected test;
  • Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a CTE credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but have not yet earned the credential;
  • Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course;
  • Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course;
  • Students in the second of sequential courses;
  • Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course.

We will be contacting seniors who have not completed training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators to ensure they get the requirement in order to graduate.

 

1​ A verified unit of credit is awarded for a course in which the student earns a standard unit of credit and achieves a passing score on a corresponding end-of-course SOL test or a substitute assessment approved by the Board of Education.