High schoolers can have distance-learning grades changed to pass-fail if they apply by Aug. 15

Long Beach Unified high school students who struggled during the pandemic have a new option to try to limit the damage to their GPAs.

Because of a state law signed last month, they can apply to have grades from the 2020-21 school year changed to “pass” or “no pass” and remove any course’s traditional letter grade from their official transcript.

LBUSD high school students, parents or guardians have until Aug. 15 to apply for any changes, the district said in a news release.

There won’t be a limit on how many courses a student can get changed. The requests must be submitted through a Google Form available on the LBUSD website.

The change is because of Assembly Bill 104, which also bars any California State University campuses from penalizing students for pass-no pass grades so that any high school student who changes their grades doesn’t have a disadvantage while applying.

There are caveats though: That provision doesn’t apply to University of California colleges or private schools. Many California universities, however, have pledged to accept pass-no pass grades. A full list is available here.

“As a mom of three boys who were in ‘Zoom school’ during the pandemic, I saw how much our kids struggled to adapt to distance learning,” said Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who introduced AB 104.

In the LBUSD, failing grades spiked during pandemic-related campus closures.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 104 on July 1.

The law also allows for students to more easily repeat grades and get “credit recovery.” That means: For students who were enrolled in their third or fourth year of high school during the pandemic, AB 104 would require schools to allow them to complete their high school graduation requirements, including an option to enroll in a fifth year of instruction to ensure students graduate with a high school diploma.

“Whether it’s a third-grade student who needs more instruction time to retain the material, or the senior in high school who nearly jeopardized their admission to college—there’s a recovery option available to help every student access the resources and accommodations they need to get back on track for the next school year,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

Failing grades double under LBUSD distance learning

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