NC school officials approve policy changes – including some to help seniors graduate on time


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The State Board of Education on Friday approved measures to help seniors graduate on time as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic keeps children out of North Carolina’s schools.

A news release said the board approved a grading policy to help high school seniors graduate by adjusting policies so schools and districts cannot require students to earn any more than the state’s minimum of 22 credits needed to graduate. Many schools and districts have higher requirements, it said.

Seniors will receive grades for both semester and yearlong fall courses, and those grades will be factored into their grade-point averages. Students will be credited with a pass or withdrawal for spring classes based on their performance as of March 13, the release said.

For students who had a failing grade, schools and districts are directed to provide remote-learning opportunities to help them pass. In general, the board is guiding remote learning to focus more on student engagement over evaluation, the release said.

The board also approved a $50 million allotment to districts based on both enrollment and the county’s low-wealth designation. Half of it will be distributed based on a district or school’s average daily membership and the other half will be distributed based on a formula involving the enrollment and low-wealth designation, the release said.

Gov. Roy Cooper directed $50 million in school-finding flexibility to help schools “support the greatest needs to serve students during the COVID-19 crisis,” the release read.

Finally, a state of emergency leave policy approved by the board will allow districts to “continue to pay and provide benefits to eligible staff who cannot work remotely, who have child-care or elder-care needs, are at high risk of COVID-19 and others.”

Up to 168 hours of paid emergency leave may be granted by schools or districts between April 1 and 30, the release said.

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