FCPS Changes Grading Policies for 2021

This abnormal virtual school environment has created a disconnect between students and the content being taught, and navigating through this while trying to complete most work independently has shown to be a cause of stress in many students’ lives.

In response to these situations, and with the hope of easing some of that stress, FCPS has made four modifications to the grading system of online school—applied to the second quarter and for the remainder of the school year.

Since the modification, the lowest grade a student can receive on any assignment or exam is a 50 percent, even if the assignment was not turned in, or the score of the assignment was less than 50 percent. For first quarter, all Fs lower than 50 percent were raised to a 50. A zero in the grade book would be detrimental to a student’s overall grade, even if only one assignment were missing. Senior Theodore Thompson-Guldseth expresses his appreciation for this new policy, saying how a 50 percent “won’t be as harsh a punishment for missing a single assignment.”

Senior Theodore Thompson-Guldseth.

FCPS also announced that no one assignment or exam could count for more than 20 percent of a student’s grade for that quarter. This change is coupled with the lowering of the minimum number of assignments per quarter from nine to six—to help relieve the stress of teachers as well as their students.

The final change FCPS implemented is that students can receive no more than a 10 percent late penalty for assignments, allowing all assignments to be accepted as late as a week before the quarter ends.

Junior John Policarpio says these new policies “will benefit students and help add some understanding and empathy,” but he hopes that students don’t rely too much on them and forget to apply themselves.