Coronavirus Resources for Schools

Recommendations for Grading During COVID-19 (Apr 2020)

Contains resources from school districts and public health agencies.

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1 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GRADING DURING COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURES (2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR) _____________________________________________________________ In the interests of protecting the health and safety of our communities from the coronavirus, schools are closing their doors, not only through the end of spring break, but beyond, some even until the end of this school year. Among other issues, this brings up the question of grading. Because the grades students receive are used for many high-stakes decisions—course placement, graduation, scholarships, college admission, and more—policymakers and district leaders are looking for expert guidance on whether, and how, to grade students during this very challenging time. The grading recommendations below are grounded in research on effective evaluation, culturally responsive teaching and learning, and Crescendo Education Group's work since 2013 in multiple geographic and socioeconomic contexts. They also incorporate feedback from teachers, schools, and district leaders. These grading recommendations (that follow) are based on three principles: 1. Stress related to COVID-19 will negatively impact student academic performance. Everyone is affected by the stress of the global pandemic, and this stress is expected to grow as the number of people infected, and become sick or die, increases. It will become more likely that each of us will know someone or have family members with the coronavirus. Plus, the economic impact of this crisis will become more severe, with more people out of work and requiring financial assistance. Not only has research directly linked parents' job losses to lower student performance, but economic strain within a family adds stress and anxiety, which creates additional adverse consequences. 1 While schools often provide some measure of mental health services, students are now unable to access them. Additionally, the health- and economic-related stress caused by the coronavirus will likely be disproportionately felt by students in lower-income families, who are more vulnerable to economic downturns and more likely to experience food and housing insecurity. We also know that grades themselves are a

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