Immediate Options Available for Students Who Fell Behind During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many of our children have faced setbacks in school and experienced learning gaps over the past year. With the 2021-22 school year around the corner, I am thrilled to let you know about new resources available that are targeted to help students who struggled during the last school year due to the pandemic.

California is now providing families with immediate possibilities to support your child’s individual needs. These available options include:

  • Right to change grades to Pass/No Pass on transcript
  • Reinforced financial aid eligibility for California State students
  • Consultations to discuss if a child should retake a grade level
  • Ability to recover credits to ensure they meet graduation requirements

 

How do I request Pass/No Pass grades on my child’s transcript?

Any student who was enrolled in high school during the 2021-22 school year can request to have their letter grade changed to pass/no pass. Families who would like to make this change can do so be filling out a request form located on their school’s website. Schools will notify families of this option and post a request form on their website by the end of July.

Students and families will then have 15 days from receiving notice from their school to submit the grade change request form to school officials. Schools must grant the grade change request if it receives a valid form within this period. After the 15-day period, schools cannot accept grade change requests. This option is only available for grades received during the 2020-21 school year.

 

Will colleges and universities accept Pass/No Pass transcripts?

California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC) school systems will accept transcripts with Pass/No Pass grades to determine admission for any student that was enrolled in high school in the 2020-21 school year. A list of private, independent university that have agreed to accept transcripts with Pass/No Pass grades for admissions will also be available on the California Department of Education website after July 21.

 

What about financial aid?

A grade change cannot result in a student losing eligibility for California state student financial aid. For private, independent universities, including those in other states, policies will vary from school to school. You are encouraged to verify directly with each individual school.

 

Can my child retake their grade?

Parents now have the right to request a consultation with school officials to discuss if their child should retake a grade level. Students eligible for this option are those who received deficient grades (“D”, “F”, or “No Pass”) in at least half of their courses during the 2020-21 school year.

Please note: Students enrolled in 12th grade during the past school year are not eligible to repeat 12th grade.

 

How do I request a consultation?

Families must submit a written request to their child’s school if they want to consider having their child retake a grade level for the 2021-22 school year. If the student is eligible, the school is required to offer a consultation, which must take place 30 days from when the written request is submitted. Schools must then notify families within 10 days of the consultation of their final decision.

 

What should I expect during a consultation?

Consultations on retaking a grade level occur between a parent, a school administrator, and a teacher. Schools will make the final determination on whether to keep a student in their current grade level or not. Consultations include a discussion of all available learning recovery options, including the ability for the child to recover credits, consideration of the student’s academic performance, academic and social-emotional supports, and any other information relevant to whether retaking a grade level is in the student’s best interest.

 

Does my child qualify for credit recovery?

Schools are required to provide students who are not on track to graduate with the opportunity to complete courses required for graduation through credit recovery, or schools can exempt the student from graduation requirements that extend beyond standard graduation requirements.

To be eligible for credit recovery options like taking a 5th year of high school or retaking a course, a student would have to be enrolled in their third or fourth year of high school during the 2020-21 school year, and not be on track to graduate by the end of their fourth year.

Schools must proactively provide this relief and not require a request from families. However, families should contact their school officials directly if they wish to exercise a specific option.

 

Learn more about:

California Rebuilding Fund

Food Resources

Taxpayers Bill of Rights Public Meeting