distance learning

Carlsbad Unified Adopts Hybrid Grading Policy

High school students will choose how they will be graded during this period of distance learning

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With schools closed during the pandemic, school districts are grappling with the question of how to fairly grade students during distance learning. 

The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) will give high school students a choice. They can either choose to take credit/no credit, as was first proposed, or they can take the grades they had when schools closed and improve upon them.

Their grades are protected from dropping lower than they were before campuses closed.

Our board described it as really the best of both worlds.

Ben Churchill Ed.D, Carlsbad Unified School Superintendent

Churchill said the hybrid model was adopted after a four-hour board meeting on Wednesday when the original proposal for credit/no credit was voted down.

Churchill said the community understood there are students who cannot easily access distance learning, and they should not be penalized. 

"Those students who can't access the internet should be allowed to remain competitive in the college admissions process,” Churchill said.

Carlsbad High School sophomore Tommy Kelly said he likes having a choice.

“I did work really hard to keep my grades up and when I heard it was credit/no credit, it was disappointing, all that studying goes out the window,” Kelly said during a Facetime interview.

Macy Markham is also a sophomore at Carlsbad High with good grades. She worries about how grading policies will impact college admissions.

“Schools are doing all sorts of things with grades, so I just want to see how that plays out with college apps and such. I feel it might be hard to be on a level playing field since so much has changed," Markham said.

Churchill said colleges and universities currently evaluate a variety of factors during the admission process, like a wide range of GPA scales and credit systems. Grading during the pandemic will be one more factor.

“The reality is every school district in the country is dealing with this and there are no easy answers," Churchill said.

San Diego Unified voted to give letter grades to students. The grades cannot be worse than what they were when schools closed, but they can improve.

Pending a vote of the Board, Poway Unified has a credit/no credit grading policy that went into effect on April 4.

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