FCPS changes academic policy

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced several academic policy changes last week as the third quarter draws to a close and the end of the school year approaches.
One of the most impactful changes that affects all students is that final exam scores will only count if they raise a student’s grade in that class.
“As a teacher, while I empathize with the struggle we are all going through, I would still like to have high expectations for our students and hold them accountable to complete a meaningful activity to finish the course, and one that counts towards their grade,” IB Topics teacher Jonathan York said.
In addition, students have the option of showing that they just passed a class instead of a letter grade for up to two classes, a change that has prompted apathy.
“I feel like this isn’t the most helpful change for students like it’s really only worth it if you have a D in a class,” said Teena Do, Falls Church HS senior. “I’d rather have changes that lessen the workload for students because that seems like a bigger problem.”
For high school credit-bearing classes, students who earned an F in a class will instead have a NM (“no mark”) on their records.
The superintendent said these changes would not be fostering grade inflation and would instead be righting persistent academic inequity.
“Overall, the new grading policies allows the students an opportunity to learn, succeed and put this year behind us,” York said. “Let’s hope next year we have increased expectations.”