Photo Courtesy of TUSD
Arnold O. Beckman High School

TUSD announces changes to the grading system

With numerous uncertainties rising alongside COVID-19 cases, students were struck with school closures and cancellations the last month.

However, how the grading system will function in the spring semester of the 2019-2020 school year also has been a concern for both students and parents in Tustin Unified School District.

In consideration for low-income students that may not have a functioning electronic device and/or wifi, TUSD announced on April 16 that all grades will be transitioned to a credit/incomplete system where any percentage above 60% will receive credit.

Following the update, two TUSD sophomore and junior students initiated a petition on change.org, passionately advocating for allowing students to decide whether they desire a credit/incomplete or a traditional letter grade system.

“I signed the petition because I didn’t want my hard work to go to waste,” said Sarina Doshi, a junior at Arnold O. Beckman High School. “I worked extremely hard during this semester before and during the quarantine, and I want my transcript to reflect such effort.”

Alongside Doshi, countless Beckman, Foothill, and Tustin high school students and parents signed the petition. With signatures reaching 2000, TUSD announced another change to the new grading system.

“Students may choose to be issued a letter grade in classes they specify and ‘credit’ in others.

This method is likely the most attractive to students who have solid grades in some subjects and poor grades in others,” wrote Arnold O. Beckman High School Principal Donnie Rafter, in an updated letter on April 24.

Alongside the “mixed marks” system, according to TUSD, students now had grade protection, which prohibited them from receiving a letter grade lower than what is displayed for the third quarter on their transcripts.

This allowed students who are experiencing extreme difficulties due to COVID-19 not be at a disadvantage, and students were now able to utilize fourth quarter assignments, exams, and projects for only positive growth.

“I believe that this is an effective middle ground between two opposing sides,” said Tyler Kuk, a junior at Arnold O. Beckman high school. “Students are given more freedom to be independent as for grades, and both sides’ requests are somewhat fulfilled.”

TUSD will issue a google form on May 19 for final decisions on which grading students will prefer. With COVID-19 constantly reaching new heights, school districts, not only TUSD, may issue further changes and updates.