Austin ISD approves new grading policy for coronavirus-impacted spring semester

The Austin ISD board of trustees met for a virtual board meeting April 6. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
The Austin ISD board of trustees met for a virtual board meeting April 6. (Courtesy Austin ISD)

The Austin ISD board of trustees met for a virtual board meeting April 6. (Courtesy Austin ISD)

Austin ISD will switch to a “pass or incomplete” grading policy for classes during its current spring semester instead of a traditional A-F grading scale.

AISD trustees adopted the grading system change April 6 through a resolution to address possible inconsistencies with online and virtual learning during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The district announced last week that school campuses would be closed indefinitely, and that mandatory online learning would begin April 6.

For current high school seniors, final grade point average and class rank will be calculated based on a student’s grades up to the end of the current school year’s first semester, according to the resolution approved by trustees. Therefore, final GPAs and class ranks have already been calculated.

For all high school students, credits for the current spring semester of classes will be based on the new pass or incomplete scale and will not impact a student’s future GPA. Middle and elementary school students will also receive pass or incomplete marks.


According to AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz, the district is not using the spring semester to calculate GPA because of districtwide inconsistencies in technology access and at-home learning environments.

Associate Superintendent of Academics Lisa Goodnow said that the new grading scale allows students in the district to show proficiency in a subject and pass. However, she said for many students, there will likely be a catchup period next school year if they were not able to finish all lessons that are typically covered in a higher-level course.

The approved grading policy is in effect for the current semester, but the resolution specified that it would not be used for the 2020-21 school year.
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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