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State Board of Education Update: April 24, 2020

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

The following information being provided is a summation of the emergency meeting of the State Board of Education on April 23, 2020.  It is important to note that the items for recommendation were voted on as action items with an approval vote with the exception of the Legislative Funding recommendation approval, which will be submitted as a request to consider in the select committee for COVID-19, Education of the General Assembly. Teacher Evaluations: Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic and related school closures, it has been impossible for most school districts to complete the required evaluation process.  NCDPI has provided guidance for public schools refrain from using “online or virtual observations” to complete the evaluation for two reasons; 1) the evaluation instrument does not include nor does it validate the use of these methods for online observation and 2) there is engagement of training for teachers related to online instruction and inconsistencies for accessibility for this training still exist. Given these circumstances, NCDPI has made recommendations that the State Board of Education (SBE) adopt related to educator evaluation.
  • The current evaluation process prescribed by SBE policy should be followed for those teachers that have had required observations conducted prior to March 13, 2020. This can include post-observation conferences virtual participation without jeopardizing the validity of the evaluation process.

  • It is recommended that teachers who have not received all required observations shall have the evaluation process abandoned, and no summative be entered into the NCEES system.

  • The SBE and NCDPI will use the most recent valid summative rating for any teacher who did not receive a summative evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year. Most recent and valid summative evaluations will be used for reporting (federal and state), research, licensure renewals or conversions, and any other reporting obligations of the SB or NCDPI.

  • Governing bodies of public school units may consult their attorneys and staff to develop a process by which a recommendation for the renewal/non-renewal of employee contracts may occur. The State Board of Education recognizes the local governing body’s authority to make contract decisions for its employees and considers that process to be separate from the required evaluation process.

  • The State Board of Education encourages public schools to work with their local boards of education and boards of directors in developing local processes related to contract renewals.

Athletic Policy Considerations: Recommendations from the State Board of Education for 20-21 athletics: Athletic Academic Eligibility The NCHSAA uses State Board Policy ATHL-001 to determine Athletic Eligibility. Any waiver of the requirements should come from the Board. Regardless of the school organization pattern, a student who meets Local Education Agency (LEA) / Charter School Promotion standards for the 2019-2020 academic year automatically meets the courses passed requirement for the first semester of the 2020- 2021 academic year. This means if the student is promoted in 2019-20, they are eligible for athletic participation for the first semester of next year 2020-21. To continue athletic eligibility for the second semester, they will need to meet guidelines set forth in ATHL-001. Temporary Extension of Valid Pre-participation Examination (PPE) The NCHSAA SMAC recommends a temporary extension of the time that a student athlete’s (SA) 2019-2020 PPE remains valid past the current 395 days due to current and upcoming health care challenges secondary to COVID-19. Temporary Extension Option: All student-athletes who have a valid Pre-participation Examination (PPE) form for the 2019-2020 season will be allowed a one-year extension through the end of the academic year 2020-2021. An athlete planning to participate in a sport during the 2020-2021 season without a current PPE form (date of physical 4/1/19-5/1/20) will need to obtain an evaluation/physical before they are allowed to participate.* *It was also noted that some parents may choose to have the option of providing a new PPE with an examination from their personal physician.  Parents certainly have this option and would be submitted just like the procedures in place. Waiver of Career and Technical Education (CTE) State Assessments After consultation with The Department of Education – Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, NC CTE has waived the requirement of a CTE State Assessment for state and federal reporting, which is typically included in 5S4.  As a result, students enrolled in year-long or Spring 2020 CTE courses with a 100-item post-assessment will not be required to take the CTE State Assessment. Grading Policy K-11: Recommendations COVID-19/Extended school closures As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and NC K-12 public school extended closures, all LEAs and charter schools continue to engage students through remote learning opportunities to support the continuation of student growth and well-being during the public health crisis. Remote learning is defined as learning that takes place outside of the traditional classroom setting using various media and formats, such as but not limited to: video conference, telephone conference, printed material, online material, or learning management systems. NCDPI implemented a grading workgroup comprised of students, families, teachers, and support staff during remote learning to develop recommendations for grading. Recommendations for grade groupings: Grades K-5

    • Students will receive no final grade in grades K-5

    • Instead of the final grade, educators will provide year-end feedback for students regarding learning from the full academic school year, using a locally determined format.

    • Educators will document individual student strengths and needs from both academic and social/emotional perspective for an effective transition from spring 2020 remote learning to the 2020-2021 academic year.

Grades 6-8

    • Students will receive a Pass “PC19” or Withdraw “WC19” for the final grades for middle school courses.

    • A student’s grade will be held harmless for learning after March 13.

    • PC19 will be assigned to any student who met expectations and worked to improve to the point of passing after March 13 through remote learning.

    • WC19 will be assigned to any student who was not passing the course as of March 13 and who was not able to improve to the point of passing the course through remote learning opportunities. A WC19 for middle school courses does not equate to a failing course grade, nor is it interpreted as grade retention should occur or that the course be repeated. WC19 simply communicates a lack of evidence of mastery of standards addressed in the particular content area.

    •  Educators will document individual student strengths and needs from both academic and social/emotional perspective for an effective transition from spring 2020 remote learning to the 2020-2021 academic year.

    • High school courses taken in middle school will follow the grading options presented below for 9-11 high school students, with the understanding that if there is a numeric grade on the transcript it will not be calculated in the high school GPA per SBE policy, Course for Credit, CCRE-001.

    • Due to pandemic, NCDPI developed a new grade scale in PowerSchool to move from Pass/Fail to Pass/Withdraw. “PC19” and “WC19” have been added into PowerSchool.

    Grades 9-11 Students in grades 9-11 and non-graduating seniors will be awarded final grades based on the following grading systems for the 2019-20 school year. Current Spring 2020 Courses:

  • Students will be given a choice for how the final course grade will appear on the transcript for both year-long and semester courses currently in progress.

    • Numeric grade, the highest grade representing learning as of March 13 or as improved through the semester as remote learning continued


  • PC19 or WC19

  • Students will determine how each final course grade will appear on the transcript at the end of the semester after advising from the teacher/school and in consultation with the parent/guardian.

  • Should the students choose to report a numeric grade as the final grade on the transcript, the numeric grade will be calculated into the cumulative GPA, following the guidelines in SBE policy GRAD-009.

  • Should students choose to report a PC19 or WC19 as the final grade on the transcript, there is no GPA impact these grades.

  • Should students in a yearlong course choose a PC19 or WC19 for the spring portion of the course, the fall term grade will be counted into the GPA. Clear directions for PowerSchool will come at a later date.

Additional Notes:

  • Students will not receive a failing grade. LEAs/Charters will advise the use of WC19 for any student who was failing as of March 13 and was unable to improve through remote learning opportunities.

    • A final grade of PC19 does award a full unit of credit for a high school course while a grade of WC19 does not award a unit of credit.

    • WC19 does not equate to a failing course grade but indicates a lack of evidence of mastery of standards addressed in the particular course, and the school is unable to award a unit of credit.

    • NCDPI encourages LEAs/Charters to utilize all means possible to support student learning that has been impacted by the pandemic in the future, such as Credit Recover and Repeating a Course for Credit (SBE-CCRE-001).

    • A grade of Incomplete may be used locally in instances when student, parent/guardian, teacher, and school administration determine it is appropriate and develop a clear and time-bound plan to complete the course work.

    • Students will maintain the grades for fall courses as already sored, year-long, and semester. Fall 2019 final grades will be calculated into a student’s GPA.


  • Student promotion/retention will remain the decision of the school principal and staff.

  • NCDPI recommends that LEAs/schools only consider retention of students if the retention process was already well underway for students prior to March 13, 2020.

  • NCDPI strongly encourages on the matter of retention that a local plan for adequate communication and collaboration between the school and family to ensure an effective path forward for the student, especially given the extraordinary circumstances that students/families find themselves.

LEGISLATIVE FUNDING REQUEST: This information will be covered in a subsequent PENC Legislative Update following the Emergency meeting of the select committee on COVID-19, Education

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