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NYC Public Schools are Dropping Traditional Grades for K-8 Students due to Coronavirus Closings

NYC Public Schools are Dropping Traditional Grades for K-8 Students due to Coronavirus Closings

Grades will be dropped for all city public school students except high schoolers to accommodate the thousands of students now missing classrooms and in-person instruction.


Mayor Bill de Blasio announced traditional grades will be dropped for all New York City students in kindergarten through eighth grade to accommodate kids’ disrupted routines, lack of in-person teaching, and lack of classrooms in the wake of coronavirus closings, NY Daily News reports. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade will be given evaluations of “Meets Standards” or “Needs Improvement.” Middle schoolers will be evaluated and given a classification of “Meets Standards”, “Needs Improvement”, or “Course in Progress” for students who need a little more time to finish their classwork.

High school students, meanwhile, will receive traditional grades at the end of this school year. However, they will have the option to take a “passing” grade instead of a normal letter or number mark. Students who need more time to complete their work can receive a “Course in Progress” evaluation same as younger students. de Blasio cautiously promised online instruction will be available for students through the summer. What that will look like is unclear.

“It will be an evaluation based on a lot of the things we normally would—school projects, assignments, writing entries—the same kind of things we would do in person, a lot of that can be done online as well,” de Blasio explained during a press conference, according to NY Daily News.

NYC students are in their seventh week of online schoolwork since switching to a remote learning model on March 23; schools will be closed for the remainder of the year. In an effort to alleviate inequities in the work students are able to complete from home, the city has so far provided 255,000 iPads to families who have filled out the remote learning device form (which is still open!). Here’s how you can get an iPad through the NYC Department of Education for your child in public school or child with special needs in a nonpublic school:



  • Parents are required to fill out a device request form, one for each child who needs a device.
  • There is no deadline to fill out this request form.
  • Teachers and school staff can submit a request on behalf of their students.
  • Families must fill out the Student Device Loan Agreement.
  • There is a limit of one device per student.
  • All devices must be returned once on-site learning resumes.
  • iPads are being distributed on a rolling basis each week.
  • Priority is given to students who are most in need.
  • You can cancel a device request at any time if your child’s needs change.

To keep up with further developments for your student, head to the DOE website. And remember: balancing working from home and homeschooling your student is difficult. Figuring out how to be a teacher for the first time can be even trickier, no matter what kind of grade your child will be getting at the end of the year. There are ways to manage your new role as an educator and balance that with working from home. 

 

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Jacqueline Neber

Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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