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  3. COVID-19: Testing and Grades

COVID-19: Testing and Grades

General Grading and Test Questions

Will there be final exams? How will grades, class rank, and GPA be impacted?

Final exams will not be administered for the Spring 2020 semester.

High school principals, counselors, and the district leaders collaborated to recommend a resolution amending policy EIC (local) which the board approved on March 31, 2020. The resolution establishes that for High School seniors, class rank will not be calculated at the end of the fifth six-week grading period. Instead, class rank will be calculated based on the semester average at the end of the third six-week grading period of the 2019–2020 school year. This will be the final GPA for current seniors. For the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023, grades from the spring semester 2020 will not be included in future GPA calculations. Students who were struggling academically before, or begin to struggle during, the closure will be given individual support on a case by case basis with the goal of enabling them to earn credit. Student learning is the central focus of the Leander ISD learning model. While no system is perfect, we believe the structure established for GPA is the most equitable solution for all, allowing teachers and students to focus on student learning during this unprecedented time.

What can we expect for state testing, including STAAR and End of Course (EOC) exams?

Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.

TEA also shared the following guidance regarding End of Course (EOC) exams:
Seniors who are still working to meet assessment graduation requirements in the 2019–2020 school year, the performance requirement is being waived for Spring 2020. Effectively, this means that current seniors may graduate through the individual graduation committee (IGC) process regardless of the number of EOC assessments they still need to pass.

The College Board has canceled its May SAT testing date with updates to follow on future dates. With regard to AP testing, the Board says it will update the schedule for testing on April 3. ACT testing dates have changed as well with the April testing date rescheduled to June. AP testing We are continuing to follow updates from the College Board considering ACT, SAT, and AP testing

As of March 23, International Baccalaureate has canceled all May exams. IB has provided an FAQ page to answer any immediate concerns.

NCAA Updates to Eligibility and Academic Evaluation

Given the unprecedented events during Spring/Summer 2020 due to COVID-19, the NCAA is offering guidance on questions about eligibility and academic evaluation. Below are some FAQs from the document.

How will the Eligibility Center approach schools with NCAA-approved core courses that have moved to distance or e-learning environments in Spring/Summer 2020 due to school closures?

The Eligibility Center will not require a separate review of distance or e-learning programs used for Spring/Summer 2020 in response to closures due to COVID-19. Students are encouraged to complete their NCAA-approved core courses through the channels of instruction provided or recommended by their school, district or state department of education.
Note: This policy will apply to students from all grade levels (e.g., freshmen, sophomores) who complete distance or e-learning courses in Spring/Summer 2020.

Will there be any flexibility in the Division I core-course time limitation for students with an expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduation date (as determined by the start of year nine) who initially enroll full time in 2020-21?

Yes. For students with an expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduation date who initially enroll full time in 2020-21, up to six core-course units completed after starting the seventh semester (and before full-time enrollment) will be used in the student’s initial-eligibility certification, regardless of whether the student graduated on time or when the courses are completed (i.e., during the academic year or Summer term). This approach will allow students impacted by school closures to complete additional core courses toward their initial eligibility.

What about expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduates who delay graduation or full-time enrollment due to COVID-19?

For Division I and II, expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduates (as determined by the start of year nine) who delay graduation or full-time enrollment due to COVID-19 will receive the benefit of policies applicable to those who enroll full time in 2020-21.

Will other classes (e.g., sophomores, juniors) receive any flexibility in the NCAA initial-eligibility standard as a result of the environment in Spring/Summer 2020?

The approach to Pass/Fail and distance/e-learning courses will apply to all students, including subsequent classes, who complete NCAA-approved core courses in Spring/Summer 2020. At this time, we do not anticipate that application of the adjusted standard will extend beyond expected Spring/Summer 2020 graduates who initially enroll full time in 2020-21, but we will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.

AP/Dual Enrollment/IB Frequently Asked Questions

What can students do for AP / ACT / SAT test prep and test-taking?

Please continue to follow the College Board updates.

Traditional face-to-face exam administrations of the Advanced Placement (AP) test will not take place this year. Instead, students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.  For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates. The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. Continue to check your email for updates from your school’s Advanced Placement (AP) coordinator.

ACT has rescheduled the April 4 national test date to June 13.

In response to the rapidly evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19), the College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. Registered students will receive refunds.

What do students in ACC Dual Credit or the University of Texas OnRamps courses do during a school closure?

Austin Community College remains closed until May 1 after its initial decision to extend spring break for all students one-week through March 29. Online instruction resumed March 30. Updates are posted here. Students: please check ACC email for correspondence from your professors.

Likewise, The University of Texas at Austin will remain closed for the spring semester. With a spring break extension until March 29, online instruction began March 30. Please follow updates for UT OnRamps and courses on the UT coronavirus webpage.

Updated on April 20, 2020

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