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F.C. Schools Go to Pass-Fail Grading In 4th Quarter

In a lengthy update memo from Falls Church City Schools’ Superintendent Peter Noonan published online yesterday afternoon, included a decision to grade all students in the system on a pass-fail basis for the fourth quarter. In the Friday update, posted on the Schools’ website, he wrote that the new grading plan will be in place for the resumption of online education on April 14 through the new end of the school year on June 4.

A complicated grading system will, in general, integrate letter grades achieved through the third quarter to remain the same for the semester if students earn a “pass” in the fourth quarter. As part of this, students will be able to turn in missing work due from Jan. 27 – March 12 (the last day of classroom teaching) without penalty and students can retake summative assessments in International Baccalaureate programs. The IB program as it is “still has authentic student assessments to base final grades upon.”

Noonan stated that school divisions must upload all of the Internal Assessments and all student coursework to The IB by April 20th.

He added, “We expect all of our students to be engaged in their school work during this time of distance learning and we will do everything in our power to keep them engaged. Passing grades will be based on a mastery of work, work completion, daily participation and active engagement in online learning for the fourth quarter.

Noonan’s report added that “the FCCPS has worked exceedingly hard to ensure our families are supported throughout this public health crisis. This is especially true in the area of Nutritional Support. We distributed over 130 boxes containing two-weeks of non-perishable food at the onset of our closure to ensure our Free and Reduced Meals Program (FRM) families were supported. Each family also, through the generosity of the Falls Church Education Foundation received a $50 grocery gift card per child to purchase additional food and items needed.”

Noonan added, “We will continue to provide weekly food through the end of the school year to any family, not just those who are in the FRM program – exceeding the standards set by state and federal requirements. And thanks to the ongoing support of the FCEF and our PTAs another round of gift cards to our families will be on its way.”

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