Chandler USD announces how students' grades will be calculated during the coronavirus outbreak

Families drove up to a Chandler USD elementary school this week to pick up students' belongings. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Families drove up to a Chandler USD elementary school this week to pick up students' belongings. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

Families drove up to a Chandler USD elementary school this week to pick up students' belongings. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

School campuses may be shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak, but instruction is still occurring—it is just occurring virtually now.

Chandler USD Superintendent Camille Casteel sent an email update April 9 to parents highlighting several ongoing efforts and outlining how grading will be handled for the remainder of the year.

"We understand there is tremendous demand on families who have limited technology in their homes and multiple family members who need access," Casteel wrote in her email. "We are moving cautiously and deliberately in order to consider our decisions from all perspectives. The stress level is high for everyone involved and, at this point, we are committed to doing everything we can to minimize the additional pressure we are applying so that you can more easily prioritize the health and safety of your family."

Grading for fourth quarter

Elementary-aged students will earn a pass/fail grade in math and English Language Arts for the fourth and final quarter of this school year, according to the district. The home instructional focus for the assignments is to provide preparation for the next grade level and will be delivered online or via hard copy resources.


A passing grade will be issued to students who:

  • attempt and engage in the lessons assigned;

  • participate in teacher check-ins; and

  • show reasonable progression.


During this time of remote learning, an elementary student’s fourth-quarter grade can only improve upon their third-quarter grade, according to the district. Printed materials in core content areas will be available (days and times specific to each school site) for pickup by students that do not have access to lessons online, according to the district..

Junior high school students will also earn a pass/fail grade for the second semester, which will be a combination of their third quarter grades and work completed during the fourth quarter. The instructional focus of the assignments is to provide preparation for the next grade level and will also be administered virtually or via hard copy.

The following guidelines will be utilized for junior high school grading:

  • A student’s semester grade can only improve;

  • Completed assignments will be tracked through Infinite Campus or Google Classroom;

  • Students with a failing grade at third quarter can improve to Pass for the semester, based on individual teacher expectations;

  • Printed materials in core content areas will be available (days and times specific to your site) for pick up by students that do not have access to technology.


For high school students, they will earn a letter grade for the second semester, which will be a combination of their third-quarter grades and work completed during the fourth quarter.

The following guidelines will be utilized for high school grading:

  • Work completed during the fourth quarter can only improve third-quarter grades;

  • Grades in Infinite Campus will not accurately reflect the final semester grade;

  • A max of two assignments per week will be input into a teacher’s gradebook per the due dates assigned by the teacher;

  • A student’s grade can only improve by one letter grade;

  • Students who do not engage in online learning opportunities, or who cease to actively complete fourth-quarter instructional activities, will receive their grades as they were posted at the end of third quarter.

  • No finals will be included in the semester grade;

  • Any student failing can be given work to bring the grade up to passing


Graduation, picking up items from classrooms

Casteel said in her email that the district will communicate how students can acquire their personal items in classrooms, lockers, desks etc. and return items that belong to the school. Some schools have already initiated this process, running a drive-up where teachers deposit the student's material into the family's vehicle.

The district is also working on potential summer school opportunities for students to prepare students for the upcoming academic year.

As for graduation ceremonies, the district is delaying a final decision in hopes that more time will grant the district greater insight into the status of the COVID-19 outbreak.