UPDATE: Clear Creek ISD leaders discuss spring 2020 pass-fail grading system via livestream

Clear Creek ISD will remain closed until at least May 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Clear Creek ISD will remain closed until at least May 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Clear Creek ISD will remain closed until at least May 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated April 9 at 2:15 p.m.

During an April 8 livestream event, Clear Creek ISD leaders answered questions from parents and provided more details on the grading policy changes. The revisions are student-centered and learning-focused, officials said during the livestream.

Laura Engle, assistant superintendent of secondary education, said the decision to move to a pass-fail system was based on what would be the most equitable, given the inevitable difference in access to resources that comes with distance learning.

“We needed to have a system that would meet everybody’s needs,” she said.

Throughout the livestream, several CCISD parents left Facebook comments expressing anger over high-achieving high school students not receiving proper recognition for their good grades this semester, which could affect their admissions chances with colleges and universities. Dava West, director of guidance and counseling, said that the district will make note of this change in grading systems on necessary platforms for the next several years so admissions officials can understand the context behind the unusual-looking grades.


Class rank, which is influenced by student enrollment, could fluctuate slightly if enrollment numbers change for the spring semester, West added.

“Colleges can still see that our students are working hard...and that they’re ready for the next step in their journey,” West said.

Secondary students will receive no major grade assignments for the rest of the year, but will receive numeric grades on individual assignments so there are records of their numeric grades, officials said. Late assignments will not be penalized for the rest of the year, as well.

Holly Hughes, assistant superintendent of elementary education, said that before the start of the next school year, standard progressions will be realigned in order to best determine the appropriate grade level for elementary students.

District leaders also encouraged parents of special education students to keep in contact with their case manager or relevant campus officials. Administration, Review and Dismissal (ARD) meetings will still be held, and general education teachers are collaborating with special education teachers to provide special education students with the necessary tools, support and assignment modifications based on each student’s individualized education program, or IEP.

CCISD is also providing support to its students through a drive-thru meal program during the school closure. More than 8,000 students have been served to date through the program, said Superintendent Greg Smith during the livestream. Clear Creek ISD began offering free lunch and breakfast pick-up for multiple days at a time as of March 30. Monday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast through Thursday morning, and Thursday’s pickup will include lunch and breakfast through Saturday breakfast.

Originally posted April 7 at 6:07 p.m.

Clear Creek ISD will move to a pass-fail grading system for its spring semester due to the ongoing situation regarding the coronavirus, according to an April 7 news release from the district.

The CCISD board of trustees approved a resolution reflecting these grading policy changes during an April 6 special meeting. The resolution reads in part, “during this unprecedented public health crisis certain temporary modifications to the District’s instructional grading and reporting requirements will alleviate academic pressure on students and facilitate the most equitable transition for all students to distance learning.”

The board’s resolution included language intended to base grade-level advancement, promotion and course credit on curriculum proficiency rather than mastery. This entails restructuring secondary education: part of the resolution called on educators to determine proficiency based on daily grades and only daily grades, with a minimum of one daily grade recorded per student per week.

In accordance with the board’s resolution, daily grades that culminate at or above a 60% or higher average will constitute as a pass, earning credit for the semester for students in grades 6-12, according to the release. Grade level classification and advancement will be determined based on overall first-semester average and the pass-fail indicators for the second semester.

Another part of the resolution states that the second semester will not count toward or against a student’s overall class rank or grade point average, since a pass or a fail are not part of CCISD’s grade point scale. GPA and class rank will therefore be determined by first semester grades only.

This change does not affect the class of 2020 honor graduate recognition, as final class rank will be determined by fall 2019 grade point average, per the release.

The modified grading system does not impact Clear Horizons Early College High School students or dual-credit students earning college hours, as these students follow the grading system determined by San Jacinto College and College of the Mainland. Clear Creek ISD would record a P or F on the student’s CCISD academic achievement record.

“By this change, students, especially at the high school level, can continue to complete assignments with quality and without fear and anxiety of moving down in class rank because of the inherent challenges of distance learning,” Superintendent Greg Smith said in the release.

Proficiency for elementary students will be defined as meeting grade-level targets for the majority of the learning objectives. For final grading purposes, data from the third nine weeks of the year will be on the final report card, and elementary teachers will be contacting parents regarding student progress for the fourth and final nine weeks. A promotion-retention indication will be added to each report card.

District leaders will be further discussing these changes during a CCISD Today Livestream event April 8 at 10 a.m. via the district website and Facebook page. The recording will also be available for playback, per the release.
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

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