As you may know, the New York City Department of Education recently revised its grading policy to provide flexibility and support student engagement during this period of remote learning while school buildings remain closed. Our new grading policy for the 2019-2020 school year centers on a holistic review of student progress before and after remote learning began on March 22.

Final grade assignments are as follows:*

3-K and Pre-K
Students do not receive report cards or grades
Grades K–5
Students will receive final grades of either "Meets Standards" (MT) or "Needs Improvement" (N).
Grades 6–8
Students will receive final grades of "Meets Standards" (MT), "Needs Improvement" (N), or "Course in Progress" (NX).
Grades 9–12
Schools will continue with the same grading scales they had before remote learning with the addition of a “Course in Progress” (NX) rating for students who cannot submit work or demonstrate mastery. Failing grades will be considered “Course in Progress.” Students will be given the time and support they need to complete coursework and earn credit through January 2021. After final grades have been issued, high school students have the option to convert any passing Spring Semester 2020 final grades to a “Pass” rating that preserves their existing Grade Point Average, and will still count as credit toward graduation.

* Attendance will not be a factor in students’ grades

Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions

How will these policy changes affect middle and high school admissions?

Attendance for the 2019–2020 school year may not be used as a factor in screened admissions during next year’s admissions cycle. We are in the process of developing additional guidance on admissions processes for the fall given the changes to grading, with input from our school communities.

Course Credit and Instructional Requirements

Will students receive course credits for remote learning?

Yes, students will receive credit at the end of a course as long as they have met the standards assessed and earned a passing grade.

How does the transition to remote learning affect grading for physical education?

Physical education instruction continues through remote learning and is subject to the same grading policies that apply to other courses.

How will the transition to remote learning affect grade promotion decisions?

All promotion decisions will be based on students’ academic progress over the course of the school year, with flexibility for remote learning conditions. Attendance may not be used as a factor in student promotion decisions. Families should expect schools to make promotion decisions in June as they normally would.

Promotion decisions in grades K–8 are based on a holistic review of student work to determine whether they have mastered the skills for the next grade level in specific subject areas. For grades 3–8, schools set their own grade-level promotion benchmarks based on multiple measures.

For high school students, promotion standards are based on credit and exam completion.

As always, contact your student’s teacher if you are concerned about your child’s progress and need additional support.

Teacher talking with student wearing art smock

Graduation Requirements

How do these changes affect a high school student’s progress to graduation?

The DOE is supporting every high school senior on the path towards graduation with one-on-one counseling support and opportunities for schools and families to get on track to earn their diploma. Students are still required to meet their credit requirements for graduation, and must earn a passing grade to receive credit for their courses. Students who receive a “Course in Progress” in a class needed in order to graduate will have the opportunity for an August graduation after completing coursework over the summer.

Have June 2020’s New York State standardized exams been cancelled?

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the Board of Regents have cancelled administration of the June 2020 Regents, language other than English (LOTE), and second language proficiency (SLP) exams.

How can I receive credit for a Regents course when the Regents exams have been cancelled?

NYSED waived the requirement to pass the Regents exams to earn credit, provided students received passing grades in those courses.

Two students reading a book

Who is eligible for Regents exam waivers?

To be eligible for a Regents exam waiver for June 2020, a student must meet ONE of the following requirements:

    • Be currently enrolled in a course of study that culminates in a Regents exam by June 2020 and will have earned credit in the course (including eligible eighth grade students);
    • Be enrolled in a course of study that culminates in a Regents exam in Grade 7,  and have met course standards. Such students are not eligible for course credit because they are not yet in the eighth grade, but are considered exempt from the exam for the purpose of fulfilling an exam requirement;
    • Be currently enrolled in a course of study that culminates in a Regents exam by June 2020, fail to earn credit by the end of the school year, but make up the failed course credit by August 2020; or
    • Have previously been enrolled in a course leading to a Regents exam, earned course credit, and not yet passed the associated Regents exam but was intending to take the test in June to achieve a passing score.

What happens if my student received a “course in progress” (NX) grade for a Regents course?

Students who receive a grade of “NX” will have the opportunity to complete their coursework in the summer or fall to convert their final grades to pass. Students must receive a passing grade to be eligible for a Regents exam waiver. The Regents exam requirement will only be waived with the Regents waiver granting credit for the Regents course. If a student receives a grade of NX in June, they will need to pass the course in August in order to be eligible for the Regents waiver.

Contact your child’s school for more information about their graduation progress.

May a student who is exempted from a Regents examination due to COVID-19 be admitted to future administrations of the Regents exam?

Yes. Schools or districts will provide opportunities for students to attempt Regents exams in subsequent administration periods, if students so choose.


For more information about our new grading policy and remote learning in general, check out our “Information on Remote Learning” webpage. If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss the new grading policy as it pertains to your school, please contact your school counselor, teacher, or principal.

We hope this information has been helpful. On behalf of the DOE, we wish all of our students a strong finish to the 2019–20 school year!

The Morning Bell

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of over 1.1 million students across 1,800+ schools

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NYC Department of Education, 2019