A new grading system is now in place for New Haven Public Schools following a decision by the Board of Education.
The decision is offering some guidance for teachers and students as the schools begin to close.
One of the reasons for the new grading system is based on some students not having access to technology making it difficult to complete assignments.
"We realized that the best way to go is to not be punitive to our students," said Dr. Iline Tracy, Interim Superintendent for New Haven Public Schools. "It's not our student's fault that they may not have technology so we wanted to go halfway."
The new recommendations for grading include:
Pre-K-4th grade; Teachers are required to provide a summary to explain students' performances and understanding of topics and standards covered in their class.
Grades 5-12; Teachers are encouraged to provide students with feedback; Students will receive either a pass with distinction (P+), pass (P), or not graded (NG).
Pass with distinction will be given to students with consistent engagement/performance during distance learning.
Pass will be given to students with MOderate engagement in distance learning.
Not graded will be given out due to limited or no engagement in distance learning (which may be due to either limited access, additional responsibilities, or parental decisions not to participate. It will not negatively impact a student's final course grade.
The school system notes that they understand that distance learning may be affected by the lack of access to technology.
"If students do well in their participation engagement it can only enhance their grades, it can not go below what they already have before the pandemic," said Dr. Tracey.
The school system also noted that transcripts will reflect final course grades and g.p.a.s will be calculated based on final course grades, not individual marking periods.
Dr. Tracey tells NBC Connecticut that her goal has always been student's safety and well being and hope the new grading system will bring some peace of mind to parents and students.
"Remain calm and don't get frustrated," said Dr. Tracey. "This is not a punitive process."