Find out about available services on our COVID-19 Family & Staff Support page.

How did the Bellevue School District make its decision on grading?

The Bellevue School District developed a grading plan that we believe best meets the needs of Bellevue students. Our approach accounts for the diverse circumstances our students are experiencing. It also gives students the opportunity to work toward subject mastery over the course of the remaining academic year and into next fall if necessary.

The following helped inform our decision:

  1. Do no harm
  2. Focus on compassion and common sense
  3. Supporting not only students’ academic needs but also their emotional, social, and mental health needs
  4. Recognizing that traditional grading cannot be used for learning that has moved from the school to the home

How will grades be assigned for high schools for second semester?

Teachers will assess student proficiency in course standards and readiness to move forward to the next course level based both on a student’s prior performance and their engagement with learning during the remainder of second semester.

At the end of second semester, any students enrolled in credit-bearing courses who are deemed proficient and/or prepared for success in the next course level will receive a letter grade “A” designation on their transcripts for each course completion or “I” designation for incomplete.

The “A” designation will earn credit and will be reflected in the GPA for all credit bearing courses.

The “I” designation will not earn credit and will not be reflected in the GPA. For students assigned a designation of “I“, a plan for course completion will be developed.  Opportunities to complete the course may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Summer school
  2. Courses in the following term or year
  3. Independent study
  4. Competency-based courses
  5. Online courses
  6. Replacing the incomplete grade with the letter grade obtained in the next course taken in that subject area

What is happening to traditional grading and assessments?

Educators will continue to enter scores as they normally have. This information will be helpful in determining if students need additional support.

Educators will continue to provide students feedback in their learning. The goal is so students know how well they are demonstrating their proficiency and understanding of essential skills and concepts.


How will student proficiency be assessed?

Assessing whether a student is “Proficient” or will receive an “Incomplete” is based on what a student has done in the first three quarters for yearlong courses and what they are doing in the remaining learning. Compassion for what students and families are dealing with is part of the decision process and whether students are adequately proficient in key skills. Their past performance will be considered, as well as what they are able to engage with until the end of the year.

Following guidelines from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, students cannot be given a grade of “F” or failing. However, they can still receive an “Incomplete” for the semester.


How will student proficiency be assessed receiving Language and Special Education services?

Students receiving Language and Special Education services will require even more careful consideration in this environment.

Adequate proficiency for these students will reflect the additional stresses and difficulties posed by remote learning.

Adequate proficiency will acknowledge individual goals, language access, and the ways these can be further impacted by this crisis.


What is the decision process in assigning a student an “A” or Proficient?

The goal is to protect students from negative effects based on access, personal circumstances, and learning. Proficiency is not what we would normally expect a student to know under ideal circumstances, but rather what is reasonable during this crisis.

In assigning an “A“, educators will consider whether a student will be able to succeed in subject content the next academic year and what is best for the student’s education and progress based upon what is known about their learning. Proficiency is not the same as what would be expected under regular circumstances.

Educators are encouraged to err on the side of understanding and compassion towards students in these decisions.


What is the decision process in assigning a student an “I” or incomplete?

Educators will only assign an “I” or incomplete if they believe a student would be harmed educationally by moving on to the next course or phase of their education. The goal is to not have students who are lost in the content the next year.

Additionally, students who have not engaged in learning given their personal circumstances and/or who did not demonstrate proficiency in the remaining key skills are candidates for an “I“.


Will my student’s GPA be affected by this new grading system?

The “A” designation will factor into GPA so as not to negatively impact any students who were on track to attain a certain GPA and who might have been unable to demonstrate their usual proficiency given the circumstances of this emergency.

Incomplete” designations will not count towards GPA.

This is done to keep in holding with the “Do no harm” direction of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Is this new grading system saying anyone who is Proficient is an “A” student?

No.  At this time, we are asking educators to assess a student’s ability to succeed going forward, not the traditional notions of A, B, C, D grading that would normally occur.

The “A” on the transcript is a designation assigned to any student who will receive credit for the class, not a traditional grade. Students are being assessed on adequate proficiency, not whether the student has 90 percent or better mastery.


What if my student receives an “I” or incomplete?

An “Incomplete” on a student’s transcript means that they will not receive credit for the course until finishing one of the course completion alternatives. The goal is to keep students on track and to ensure they are ready to progress.

Incomplete” will not harm a student’s GPA. These designations can and will be replaced on student transcripts with the same “A” designation once the student has demonstrated adequate proficiency in key skills.

Teachers should work with students and families to identify a plan that considers the different options available. Opportunities to complete the course may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Summer school
  2. Courses in the following term or year
  3. Independent study
  4. Competency-based courses
  5. Online courses
  6. Replacing the incomplete grade with the letter grade obtained in the next course taken in that subject area