‘Pass/No Pass’ grade changes now available to students

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Lucia Rivera

BVH Principal Roman Del Rosario acknowledges the possible gaps in academic performance post-distance learning. Del Rosario states that the Pass/No Pass grading policy is being reimplemented for BVH students as a way of addressing the issue.

Nicole Macgaffey

On July 30, 2021 Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) students and parents were informed of an opportunity to request a grade change as Pass/No pass grades from the 2020-2021 school year. Students who were eligible could start applying on July 30, 2021 through August 16, 2021. 

“The data bears out that many students didn’t do as well in distance learning as they would have done under traditional in-person [learning]. As a result of gaps in student learning, the great suffered in many cases,” Del Rosario said. 

Grades changed do not negatively impact students grade point averages (GPA)’s according to the letter that was sent out to SUHSD students and parents. Students must send a written request in order to ask for a grade change. According to Bonita Vista High (BVH) principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D, the information was centrally organized through the district. 

Del Rosario highlighted that this policy benefits students. Del Rosario noted the importance of the students talking to a counselor to make sure that changing their grade does not negatively impact the student in terms of college admissions and credits. 

“[The policy] does allow students to keep an F from impacting their GPA and that could be a benefit in keeping students eligible for certain activities and athletics,” Del Rosario said. 

Del Rosario believed that there would be students requesting a grade change in comparison to other students in other districts because of SUHSD’s No Credit Pandemic (NCP) grade that was implemented during the 2020-2021 school year. He explained that a NCP and No pass are equivalent. SUHSD experienced an increased amount of D’s and F’s during the pandemic but Del Rosario mentioned that BVH had the same amount of D’s and F’s in comparison to pre-pandemic grades. 

“I’m proud to say that Bonita was one of the exceptions where our grades, compared to pre-pandemic, did not go down,” Del Rosario said.  That’s not to say that there wasn’t a gap in amount that students learned, but I think teachers at Bonita really took into account the context, and were able to provide support and additional additional structures that allowed students to continue, relatively, with the same levels of grades as we had before the pandemic.”

I think teachers at Bonita really took into account the context, and were able to provide support.”

— Del Rosario

Del Rosario states that this policy is important as it responds to the needs of students who struggled through the pandemic. He recognizes that students are dealing with unique events that have presented unique challenges to students. 

“I think [the policy is] important because [administrators] can never lose sight of the fact that we are just coming out of a once in a lifetime type of event and that we’re dealing with human beings that had to deal with a wide array of challenges and traumas,” Del Rosario said. “It’s important that we keep that front and center in our policies and guidelines. We really need once in a lifetime type supports, scaffolds, guidelines and losses to deal with a once in a lifetime event like this global pandemic.”