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Schools In Southern California Alter Grading Policies In Light Of COVID-19

California schools and universities are altering their pass/no pass policies to suit the new virtual learning environment as students are impacted by COVID-19.

The California state government, along with universities and community colleges across the state, has implemented rapid and overarching changes that take into account social distancing policies. These changes include extending the deadline for grade change options on a collegiate level as well as securing and ensuring virtual supervision and educational opportunities for K-12 schools across the state.

In the nine UC campuses, faculty leaders are developing their own guidelines and policies for the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these schools are allowing students to take more pass/no pass classes than what is usually allowed. 

UCI’s Academic Senate has made revisions to their pass/no pass policies

“Students will be able to change their grade options, both letter grade to P/NP and P/NP to letter grade through the end of the 10th week,” the UCI Academic Senate said.

With the UC system’s quarter schedule being 10 weeks long, these new revisions allow students the ability to change their grading option up until the week prior to finals week. 

UC Berkeley and Stanford have implemented a mandatory P/NP grading system for the spring term. Other campuses such as USC and UCLA have not chosen to impose this system but instead are giving students the flexibility to choose the option they desire. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-26-20, which imposes a mandatory closure for physical classrooms in favor of digital classrooms through mediums such as Zoom in order to more effectively enforce social distancing policies. 

When a K-12 school closes due to COVID-19, they will continue to receive state funding as per the executive order in order to support educational opportunities, provide school meals, arrange for student supervision during school hours and continue to pay employees. Programs such as the Summer Food Service Program and the Seamless Summer Option will be in charge of ensuring and providing food services throughout the duration of the closure.

Benjamin Olson is a City News Intern for the 2020 spring quarter. He can be reached at blolson@uci.edu.

Sarah Kim is a City News Intern for the 2020 spring quarter. She can be reached at sarahmk5@uci.edu.