Students react after NC changes grading, graduation requirements amid coronavirus

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The State Board of Education is now taking steps to deal with the fallout associated with COVID-19. The new measures, announced Friday, include big changes to grading, graduation and emergency paid leave. 

The board met over a conference call Friday. Several members said they didn’t want students’ grades to be negatively impacted by the virus.

RELATED: Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in NC

They acknowledged that some students have access to remote learning, while others don’t. The focus they explained will be on student engagement over evaluation.

They said districts and schools would need to consider equitable access, consistent communication between the teacher and students and evidence of student learning. 

“Wake County, they’ve basically, everything has been up on the air as of right now. A lot of my teachers are trying to get set up online. Most of them didn’t any resources online for us yet,” said Trinity Amaloo, a senior at Broughton High School.

Amaloo has already been accepted into college. 

The graduation requirements for students like Amaloo are now changing. The board said the focus would be ensuring they graduate on time. Districts can no longer require students earn more than the state minimum of 22 credits.

Spring courses will become pass or withdraw. Students who were failing as of March 13, the last day of class, will be provided with more remote learning. 

“Seniors we’re not going to get these traditions, these ceremonies that we’ve been working for these past 13 years of our education,” Amaloo said.

Districts will receive an additional $50 million that the governor allotted. Half of that will be determined by enrollment, the other 50% by the county’s low wealth. 

The board also passed an emergency paid leave policy. Districts will continue to pay and provide benefits to those who cannot work remotely, who have child-care or elder-care needs or are at high risk of COVID-19. 

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