Dear Spartan Families and Students,

During this era of remote instruction, we have worked to ensure sure we don’t unfairly or unnecessarily lower student grades.  Most students have done quite well academically despite the adverse conditions.  With perhaps a few exceptions, if a student’s grade has gone down during this time period it is because the student has chosen not to interact with teachers and their instruction.

While lower grades might be accurate reflections of the level of competency some students have demonstrated, given the circumstances, the thought of lower students’ grades does not sit well with us. To help ease the stress and reduce anxiety resulting from going to school through this difficult time period, we are announcing a Pass/Fail option for end of the year final grades.

Here’s are the details for the Pass/Fail option:

  • The choice to switch to Pass/Fail is made by students and guardians and then communicated by them to teachers.

  • Before a teacher allows a student to choose Pass/Fail, the teacher must know they have received approval from the student’s guardian.

  • The default for each class is to receive a traditional grade of either A, B, C, D, or F.

  • Students and families will only communicate with a teacher if they are choosing the Pass/Fail option.  Choosing the A-F default does not require additional communication.

  • Students may make different choices for different classes.  In one class they might choose the A-F option, and in another the Pass/Fail option.  It is up to the student and their family to decide.

  • There are 3 possible Pass/Fail Options:

    1. P = demonstrated competency in the essential topics and skills of the course, as determined by the teacher

    2. P- = mathematically passing with a D but has not demonstrated competency in the essential topics and skills of the course, as determined by the teacher

    3. F = is not mathematically passing and has not demonstrated competency in the essential topics and skills of the course, as determined by the teacher

  • Students and families should reach out to teachers to find out what is needed to demonstrate competency in the essential topics and skills of the course.

  • Our hope is to never assign a P-.  An example of where a P- would be appropriate would be if a student has a numerical passing grade in English but has not completed the research paper associated with the course.  We cannot truly say a student has passed unless they have completed the essential components of the course.

  • We hope the potential of earning a P- will encourage students to complete what needs to be completed and learn what needs to be learned to receive a P.

  • Students and parents may begin choosing the Pass/Fail option starting on Tuesday, May  26.  June 12 is the deadline to make a decision.  Teachers will let students know their final standing prior to June 12 to enable an informed decision to be made.

  • If the Pass/Fail option is chosen, the teacher will overwrite the final grade in their grade book with a P, P-, or F.

  • If the Pass/Fail option is chosen, the student has the remainder of the school year to demonstrate the level of competency needed to receive a P.  Once the teacher determines the student is competent in the essential skills and topics, the teacher will inform the student that he or she has completed the course.

  • 2 questions we anticipate receiving:

    1. How will colleges view a P or a P- on a transcript?  
      The honest answer is we truly don’t know.  However, high schools and colleges across the country are giving students a Pass/Fail option during this era of remote learning, so our assumption is they will not hold a P against an applicant.  We also assume a P will look better to a college than a P-  Whenever students or parents have questions about how a college will view a transcript, our advice is to call that school’s admissions office to hear from them directly.

    2. How will Pass/Fail grades impact a student’s grade point average?
      A final grade of P or P- will have no impact on the student’s GPA.  A final grade of F will be treated the same as an F in the traditional A-F grading system.

If after reading this, you need additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call our Main Office.  Someone is here to assist you daily between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Thank you for your patience as we have navigated this difficult time together.  We hope this Pass/Fail option will be an encouragement to many of our students and their families.

You are loved and appreciated,

Scott Habeeb