With only a few weeks left in the 2019-20 school year, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) clarified its updated grading policy and summer plans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the most recent SMMUSD Board of Education meeting on May 7, the board adopted a resolution solidifying the grading as follows:
*Elementary school (transitional kindergarten-fifth grade): Teachers will “provide ongoing feedback” to students and families. A final report, described as “a holistic assessment of student learning and progress,” will identify individual students’ areas of strengths and weaknesses which will dictate next steps.
*Middle school (sixth-eighth grades): Students will receive a credit or no credit, plus feedback, for assignments done during the remote learning process. The credit (or lack thereof), based on continual participation in remote learning, will not count toward the students’ grade point average (GPA).
*High school (ninth-12th grades): Teachers will assign students a letter grade based on their performance prior to March 13 (pre-remote learning). This grade, which the district calls the baseline, will be the same grade students are issued at the end of the semester. If “sufficient gains in student learning and progress” are clear from the work a student is doing, there is an opportunity for the student to receive a higher letter grade. High school students also have the option to opt for a credit/no credit grade instead of a letter for any individual second semester course(s).
Special education students are subject to a similar process, dependent on at what level—elementary, middle or high school—they are.
As for summer learning plans, the district announced an overview for each grade level. Intensive Intervention Summer School (IISS) and Summer Language Academy for English learners will be available for elementary students. IISS and Summer Accelerated Math Support will be available for middle school students. Credit recovery summer school and “get ahead courses” in partnership with Santa Monica College will be available for high school students. Special education students may be placed into the Extended School Year depending on their qualifications. For many of these programs, the students’ teachers or site administrators will reach out to families with more details.
Based on county and state guidelines, the district’s summer programs/camps will not occur this year.
As for the 2020-21 school year, SMMUSD still plans to stick to its approved calendar start date of August 20. Whether the start date happens in-person, remotely or “a hybrid of the two,” has yet to be announced.