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New law provides grading option for UCPS 2020 graduates

North Carolina legislators approved a bill that has changed the grading policy for the Union County Public Schools (UCPS) Class of 2020. Session Law 2020-13, which passed on June 11, will allow UCPS graduating seniors to choose how their final grade will be documented on their transcripts.

UCPS graduates now have the option to determine whether they want a numeric grade, as defined as the highest of the grade represented as of March 13, 2020, or a pass or withdraw, as appropriate. Students with a failing grade, at the time of the school closure were provided an opportunity to work for a passing grade through remote learning opportunities.

“This is a big win for our students and their families,” said Board of Education Chair Melissa Merrell. “Our seniors have worked hard for 13 years and deserve to have the option to receive a grade. Not having grades on their transcripts could impact financial aid, scholarships and other resources for life after UCPS. I want to thank our legislators and Board of Education for standing up for our seniors.”

Following a series of decisions about grading practices related to the COVID-19 school closure by the North Carolina State Board of Education, the Union County Board of Education took action with the state and North Carolina legislators to change the grading policy for seniors.

In addition, at its May 5 meeting, the Board unanimously approved a resolution that requested a change in the policy.

Based on the Union County Board of Education’s decision, approximately 94 percent of UCPS seniors requested a numeric grade versus a pass or withdraw for spring semester or yearlong classes.

As a result of the change, UCPS staff will work with students and parents on decisions for final grades. Information will be updated in PowerSchool and students will be given a final report card and transcript.