AUHSD Spring Semester Grades Should Be a Choice Between Letter Grades and Credit/No Credit

AUHSD Spring Semester Grades Should Be a Choice Between Letter Grades and Credit/No Credit

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Students and Parents of Acalanes Union High School District started this petition to Acalanes Union High School District and

For students/parents in the Acalanes Union High School District

Please sign this petition and join students and parents in the Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) who are asking the District to enact a grading policy for the Spring Semester 2020 that gives the students the option to choose either (i) credit/no credit or (ii) letter grades based on the completed third quarter with assessments in the fourth quarter providing only for an upward revision of the third quarter grade for the Spring 2020.

5/25 UPDATE:

As of May 25, 2020, 81% of public high school students and 83% of all California high school students will receive or be given the option to receive second semester grades. The AUHSD Board still refuses to adjust its policy of credit/no credit. 

It's not too late: several districts have recently modified C/NC policies. Examples:

- Novato - (May) Just amended temp C/NC policy to add letter grade option

- San Dieguito - (May) Just amended temp C/NC policy to add letter grade option

- Carlsbad - (late April) Amended temp C/NC to add letter grade option

- Montebello - (9300 HS kids) - (May) Amended P/NP to add letter grade opt-in

- Placentia-Yorba Linda - (late April) Amended C/NC policy to add letter grade option

Other recent changes:
- Kern (41k HS students - district with 3rd largest # HS students behind LA and Sweetwater) agreed to add standard GPA bump to transcript overall GPA for AP and Honors classes for all students receiving pass in those classes                                   - Folsom-Cordova - added option to include Q3 grade on transcript (though not calculated into GPA)                                                                                                      - Fremont Union - added option to add addendum to transcripts sent to colleges noting q3 grade upon request (though not calcuated into GPA)

We are updating and revising this petition to reflect the decision by hundreds of school districts across California to give second semester grades to their students.  In accord with the original proposal of giving our students the option to receive a grade, we re-emphasize that: 

-       Over 80% of California public high school students will receive second semester grades or option to receive semester grades. 

-       Any AUHSD student who would have an improved GPA based on their third quarter grades will necessarily have a lower cumulative GPA than the same student in the over 80% of all California public high schools receiving grades.

-       Colleges have not disputed nor could they possibly adequately account for this disparity, on the contrary, they have said that if grades are available, they will be factored into GPAs.  

-       The California Dept of Education provides that students be “held harmless” – it is clearly an enormous risk of harm to students to put them at a disadvantage versus 90% of other high school students who do have another semester of grades included in their GPA.

-       There are no additional demands on teachers. Semester grades would be based on third quarter grades combined with whatever the teacher is doing for a credit/no credit policy and not grading fourth quarter. Some districts are giving an A for the fourth quarter if the student would receive credit.  

5/6 Update:

On May 5, we provided the Board and district administrators with data and links for over 250 school districts with letter grade policies set forth in our update. We believe these letter grade policies directly and effectively address the concerns articulated by the AUHSD board and most importantly are a true reflection of the “hold harmless” principle emphasized in the CDE guidance.  

We are bombarded with parent inquiries asking why the Board is not considering our position and we simply have no explanation.  A tremendous amount of data has been collected to demonstrate to the District that there are many letter grade options that can be carefully tailored to address any concerns even this far into the semester.  The coverage of this issue in the local, Bay Area, and national news is now reaching a fever pitch and many districts are carefully evaluating their initial decisions. We hope the Board will allow our students to join the majority of high school students in California in benefiting from their hard work and not disadvantage our students in the college admissions process.


The below districts offering grades or a hybrid flexible grading model represent 83% of California public high school enrollment, based on Ed-Data 2017-2018 cumulative enrollment (excluding Offices of Education).

100% of Marin, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Joaquin, Merced, Mendocino, Monterey, Madera, Plumas, Placer, Ventura, Lake, Kings, Calaveras, Imperial, Glenn, Trinity, Inyo, Mono, Lassen, Del Norte, Tuolomne, Tulare, Yuba, and Sutter counties are offering letter grades or hybrid model. In Sonoma, Solano, Napa, El Dorado, Fresno, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Shasta, Yolo, and Kern counties, all districts except one in each are offering letter grades or hybrid model.

A)  Hundreds of California state districts have announced they will issue final semester letter grades, with “hold harmless” grade protection policies, wherein final semester grades will be no lower than third quarter, including FIFTEEN of the TWENTY largest districts in the state:

1.     Elk Grove

2.     Santa Ana

3.     Capistrano (hybrid - letter grades (A-C), Credit, No Credit, or Inc)

4.     LA Unified

5.     San Diego Unified (hybrid- letter grade default, No Grade option for D-F)

6.     Corona-Norco

7.     San Bernardino

8.     Fresno

9.     San Juan

10.   Sacramento City Unified

11.   Clovis

12.   Sweetwater

13.   Garden Grove

14.   Riverside

15.   Stockton

B) Dozens of districts are offering a flexible grading model to receive a semester grade or choice/alternative.  In these hybrid models, any letter grade option would be harmless and no lower than third quarter. In many cases, fourth quarter is NOT graded.

1.     Tamalpais (Universal Pass grading system: all in good standing will earn an A during distance learning, then averaged with third quarter grades)

2.     San Rafael City Schools (letter grades (A-C) or Credit/No Credit)

3.     Los Gatos-Saratoga Union (letter grades (A-C) or Credit/No Credit)

4.     Temple City (letter grades (A-C) or Credit/No Credit)

5.     West Contra Costa (letter grade (A-C), Pass or NC)

6.     Lodi (letter grade default with C/NC option)

7.     Santa Cruz Union (letter grades, Credit or Incomplete) 

8.     Jefferson Union (letter grade (A-C) or P (for a D or F))

9      Monterey Peninsula (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in)

10.   Salinas (letter grade or NC)

11.   Pajaro Valley (letter grade default, C/NC option)

12.   Paso Robles (letter grade (A-C), P or NC) (recently readjusted)

13.   Coronado (letter grade (A-C), Pass or NC) 

14.   El Dorado Hills (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail):

15.   Roseville Joint (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail) 

16.   Whittier Union (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail) 

17.   Cloverdale (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in)

18.   Chico (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

19.   Placer (letter grade, C, NC, or Incomplete) 

20.   Placer Union High School District (letter grades no lower than third quarter, Passing Credit, Inc, or NC, with a one-year opportunity to raise a NC

21.   Palos Verdes (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail)

22.   San Marcos (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail) 

23.   Atascadero (letter grade (A-C), Pass or NC) 

24.   San Lorenzo Valley (letter grade or Pass/No Mark or Pass/Fail) 

25.   Carpinteria (letter grade A, Credit (B-D), or No Credit (F) 

26.   South Pasadena (letter grade default, C/NC option) 

27.   Templeton (letter grade default, C/NC option) 

28.   Monrovia (letter grade default, C/NC option) 

29.   Covina Valley (letter grade default, C/NC option) 

30.   Lake Elsinore (letter grade default, C/NC option)

31.   Center Joint (letter grade default, P/NP option) 

32.   Oxnard (P/NP default, letter grade opt-in after school ends, for any class) 

33.   Santa Barbara (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

34.   Lucia Mar (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

35.   Lammersville (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in)

36.   Bishop Unified (and all Inyo county) (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

37.   Calaveras (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in)

38.   Colusa (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

39.   West Covina (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in)

40.   Azusa (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

41.   East Nicholaus (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

42.   Duarte (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in): 

43.   Norwalk-La Mirada (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

44.   Charter Oak (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

45.   Mariposa (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in) 

46.   Grossmont (letter grade (A-C), Pass or No Mark) 

47.   Firebaugh-Las Deltas (C/NC default, letter grade option; D is Credit) 

48.   San Gabriel (C/NC default, letter grade opt-in, only considering Q4 work post 5/4) 

49.   Ceres (C/NC default, letter grade (A-B) option)

50.   Manhattan Beach (letter grade default, Pass option) 

51.   Newport Mesa (letter grades (A-C) or Inc)

52.   Torrance (letter grade (A-D), Pass, or Inc) 

53.   Fullerton Joint Unified (letter grades (A-C); D becomes a C) or NC) 

54.   San Pasqual Valley (letter grade, C, NC, or Inc) 

55.   Summerville (letter grade or P) 

56.   Sanger (letter grade (A-C), P or NP)

57.   Upland (letter grade or C/NC)

58.   Ojai (letter grade (A-C), Pass, or Inc) 

59.   Escalon (Pass or letter grade opt-in)

60.   Antelope Valley Union (letter grade (A-C), P or NC (D = Pass)) 

61.   Redondo Beach (letter grade A-C or Inc for fourth quarter to be averaged with third quarter; no semester grade may be lower than third quarter) 

62.   Alhambra (letter grade (A-C) or Credit)

63.   Ventura Unified (proposal under review: letter grade (A-C), P or Inc) 

64.   Laguna Beach (letter grade (A-C), P or Inc) 

65.   Saddleback (letter grade (A-C), P or Inc) 

66.   Wasco Union (letter grade or P/F) 

67.   Tustin (letter grade, Credit or Incomplete) 

68.   El Segundo (letter grade (A-B), Credit (for C or D grades), or NC):

69.   Baldwin Park (proposed: C/NC or letter grade no lower than prior to closures):

70.   Calexico (letter grades, with possible flexible hybrid structure TBD)

71.   Santa Paula (letter grades, with possible flexible hybrid structure TBD) 

72.   Orange Center (letter grade (A-C), F, or Pass (D))

73.   Ramona (letter grades A-C no lower than 3q, P/F, or Inc)

74.   Willits (letter grades (A-B) or NC) 

75.  Novato (5/14 AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade choice)

76.  San Dieguito (5/12 AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade option)

77.  Carlsbad (AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade choice)

78.  Montebello (AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade opt-in)

79.  Placentia-Yorba Linda (AMENDED original C/NC to add letter grade opt-in)

80.  Delhi (letter grades (A-B) or Credit)

81.  Sierra (letter grades (A-C), Credit, or No Credit)

82.  Willows (Letter grades (A-C), or P/NC for D or F)

83.  Holtville (Letter grade default, P/NP rare option)

84.  Gustine (letter grades A-D or NC)

85.  Gonzales (letter grade (A-C) default, C/NC option)

86.  Soledad (letter grade or C/NC)

87.  Taft Union HSD (letter grades (A-C) or P/F)

88.  Madera (Letter grades (A-C), Pass or No Mark)

89.  Inglewood (letter grade or C/NC)

90.  Upper Lake (letter grade (A-C) or Incomplete)

91.  Novato (5/8 AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade choice)

92.  San Dieguito (5/12 AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade option)

93.  Carlsbad (AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade choice)

94.  Montebello (5/7 AMENDED original C/NC policy to add letter grade choice)

95.  Placentia-Yorba Linda (4/23 AMENDED original C/NC to add letter grade opt-in)

96.  Kern is sticking with P/F but recently voted to offer the normal GPA bump for all Honors/AP classes (Kern has 3rd largest # HS students, behind LA & Sweetwater)

B)  Dozens of other districts are offering hold harmless semester letter grades no lower than third quarter. In most cases, fourth quarter is NOT graded. And many have eliminated an F grade entirely. Some include:

Pleasanton, Liberty Union, Benicia, Alameda, West Sonoma County High District, Healdsburg, Fairfield-Suisin, Vallejo, Scotts Valley, Vacaville, Santa Rosa City Schools, Cotati-Rohnert Park, St. Helena, Calistoga, Shoreline, Petaluma, San Marino, Paso Robles, Pasadena, Simi Valley, Modesto Union HSD, Merced Union, Woodland, Sonora, Western Placer, Konocti, Lassen, Rocklin, Paradise Valley, Tracy, Oroville, Tahoe-Truckee, Eureka City Schools, Plumas County, Western Placer, Escondido, East Side Union, Glendale, La Cañada, Coalinga-Huron, Anaheim, Los Alamitos, Visalia, El Monte, Wheatland Union, Siskiyou, Fort Bragg, Roseland, Imperial, Los Banos, Fontana, Alvord, Hesperia, Paramount, Emery, Patterson, Culver City, Valley Center, Brett Harte Union HSD, Kelseyville, Natomas, Victor Valley, Twin Rivers, Santa Maria, ABC United, San Jacinto, Windsor, Tulare, Morongo, Bassett, Perris Union, Conejo Valley, Anderson Union, Silver Valley, Bear Valley, Bansall, Lynwood, Golden Plains, Arcadia, Temecula Valley, Marysville, Rialto, Chaffey Joint, Palm Springs, Murrieta Valley, Oakdale, Turlock, Moorpark, Hanford Joint, Central Unified, Val Verde, Banning, Hemet, Beaumont, Fortuna, Walnut Valley, Coachella, Parlier, Brawley, Fallbrook, Bonita, El Monte, El Rancho, Waterford, Kingsburg Union, Washington Union, Rowland, Winters, Esparto, Mountain Empire, Corcoran Unified (higher of the two grades from third and fourth quarter), Pierce Joint, Glendora, Silver Valley, Rim of the World, Lone Pine, Death Valley, Owens Valley, Big Pine, Yucipa-Calimesa, Mendota, Redlands, Fowler , Linden, Centinela Union (letter grades A-C (no lower than third quarter), so every child passes), Hilmar, Siskiyou, Orland Joint, El Tejon, Tahachapi, Pomona, Carmel (average of 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades), Fairfield-Suisun, Riverbank.

C) Most all private schools are offering letter grades and are coming up with some creative approaches. For instance, private University High School in San Francisco has developed a creative option of a “Double-A” grading policy for work submitted in the 4th quarter. This means, for all students in good standing, the sum of the work in this shelter-in-place environment will be assessed at or above an A- grade (3.5/90%) and averaged, as appropriate by course, with the existing 3rd quarter record of work.

D)  Many districts are continuing traditional letter grading for semester grades. Dozens have either announced they are continuing letter grading or have not made any changes to pre-closure policy, including:

Huntington Beach, Cabrillo, Beverly Hills, Brea-Olinda, William S. Hart, Chino Valley, Oak Park, Claremont, Manteca, Las Virgenes, Washington Unified, Colton Joint, Santa Ynez, Trinity Alps, Acton-Agua, San Luis Obispo Coastal, Newman-Crows, Ripon, Hughson, Denair, Ukiah, Trinity A
lps, Anderson Valley, Lemoore, Reef-Sunset, Eureka City Schools, Madera, Yreka, Klamath Trinity, Gateway, Cuyama, Sutter Union, Borrego Springs, Southern Trinity, Big Oak-Groveland, Baker Valley, Barstow, Southern Kern, Delano, Lucerne Valley, Lincoln Unified, Mammouth, Aromas-San Juan, Golden Valley, Dos Palos Oro Loma, Scott Valley, Princeton Joint, Calipatria, Maricopa, Sierra Sands, McFarland, Mojave, Middletown, Lakeport, Chowchilla, Yosemite, Laytonville, Leggett Valley, Point Arena Joint Union, Round Valley, Potter Valley, Big Sur, Le Grand, South Monterey, Pacific Grove, Borrego Springs, Snowline, Fall River, Yuba City, Live Oak, Fillmore, Los Molinos, Kerman, and Kings Canyon.

Preserve and Reflect Third Quarter Work in Second Semester Grade. Fundamentally, we are asking the district to preserve and reflect the work our students put into the third quarter. We are emphasizing that we understand teachers have their own challenges with distance learning, and we are not necessarily asking to give fourth quarter specific grades but rather a second semester overall grade. This aligns with the guidance options that the CDE is offering to CA districts, as noted on its website: "grade based on marks given before the school shutdowns, while giving students a chance to raise grades during this time."

We are asking the AUHSD to reconsider and change their 3/23/20 grading policy of mandatory credit/no credit to be used for semester grades.  This decision affects the future of current AUHSD students in all four high schools in the District: Las Lomas High School, Campolindo High School, Acalanes High School and Miramonte High School in Northern California.

Distance learning during this terrible COVID-19 pandemic presents many challenges and there are struggles unique to every teacher and student in the district.  A choice between grades and credit/no credit for spring semester is the best policy under these difficult circumstances.  For those who elect it, credit/no credit is a great relief to those pressures. But for those students who worked very hard for their third quarter grades and are looking to improve their GPA in advance of college applications and scholarships, these second semester grades are very important.  

Support Credit/No Credit for Fourth Quarter. We understand that teachers have their own challenges with distance learning and we are not necessarily asking to give fourth quarter specific grades but rather a second semester overall grade that allows for the opportunity to improve third quarter grades for a semester grade. . 

If we do not act fast, the Acalanes Union High School District will stay with their current policy for second semester final grade: mandatory credit/no credit.

We are concerned that a mandatory credit/no credit policy for final semester grades will result in the loss of the opportunity for our students to improve their grade point average (GPA) with their second semester grades.  Further, a grade option will provide motivation for students and enhance their learning and the results of the distance learning period currently underway while imposing no additional burdens on teachers.  

Similar to Other High Schools and Colleges.  This is a similar policy to that of many universities and high school districts and also aligns with the guidance that the CDE is offering to CA districts to grade based on marks given before the school shutdowns, while giving students a chance to raise grades during this time.

Please sign and share this petition with students and parents and thank you for your support! Please note School/ Grade. (No cash donations needed; please ignore the prompt asking for a donation after you sign)

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