Mayor Bill de Blasio: NYC Schools Will Revise Grading System Due to Coronavirus

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed Amazon for ending its deal to build its second headquarters in Queens. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
John Angelillo/UPI

Democrat New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that New York City’s public schools would be adopting a revised grading system for most of its students due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor said at a press conference that students in kindergarten through fifth grade would receive a grade of “meets standards” or “needs improvement” while students in sixth through eighth grades will receive grades of “meets standards,” “needs improvement,” or “course in progress.”

High school students will still receive course letter grades, but if a student fails a course, that student will get a “course in progress” designation and be directed to “summer-fall support programs.”

High school students will also have the option to change a passing letter grade in a class to “pass,” so it will not affect their grade point average. Students will also have until January to turn in any outstanding assignments.

“There has to be a sense of flexibility,” de Blasio said. “We have to recognize that some kids are having a tougher time because of this crisis, emotionally and academically, and we have to help them catch up.”

New York City has 1,126,501 students enrolled in its public school system, which is considered to be the largest school district in the U.S., according to statistics from the New York City Department of Education.

De Blasio also mentioned that there would be a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate this year’s graduating high school senior class to stay in keeping with social distancing guidelines.

“We’re going to do one big celebration of New York City’s high school seniors. We’re going to make it something very special,” he said. “You may not have the traditional ceremony that you were looking forward to, we’re going to give you something you will remember for the rest of your life and you will cherish.”

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