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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Sweetwater school board adopts 'no credit' grade option for students impacted by pandemic

According to the school district, this is only for students facing pandemic-related learning challenges like lack of internet or a device to get into online classes.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Sweetwater Union High School District has adopted a “no credit” grade option for students feeling the challenges of virtual learning and is encouraging teachers to use it instead of failing students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the school district, this is only for students facing pandemic-related learning challenges like lack of internet or a device to get into online classes.

The way it works for the student is that it allows them to make up the class in the future while not having the failing grade factor into their Grade Point Average (GPA). If the student fails to complete the course later, it will not become an "F" grade.

This comes as a surge of "D" and "F" grades have been reported.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, "D’s" and "F’s" made up 28% of all high school grades and 32% of middle school grades on progress reports, compared to 20% of high school grades and 19% of middle school grades in the same time last school year.

Sweetwater has been one of the districts that has not returned to in-person learning. Plus, the pandemic has hit the South Bay and this area particularly hard, according to county data.

The "no credit" option is meant to be compassionate to a variety of factors. The district said the reasons students could be struggling range from a lack of technology, a home environment not suitable for distance learning and in some cases, homelessness and even depression.