Immediate Options for Students Falling Behind Due to COVID-19

Assembly Bill 104: Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Assembly Bill 104 ensures K-12 students aren’t penalized for having fallen behind in school during the COVID-19 crisis by providing students and their families with immediate options that support students’ individual learning needs. Specifically, the new law:

Allows high school students to request a grade change on their transcripts to Pass/No Pass for grades received during the 2020-21 school year. 

Provides parents the right to consult with their school to determine if their child should retake a grade level during the 2021-22 school year.

Provides high school students the ability to access credit recovery opportunities to complete any outstanding graduation requirements, including the opportunity to redo courses or enroll in a 5th year of high school.


PASS/NO PASS OPTION FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
 

HOW DO FAMILIES REQUEST PASS/NO PASS ON A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT’S TRANSCRIPT?

High school students must act quickly! School districts will provide written notice to students and their families no later than the week of August 2nd explaining how a high school student can submit a request to change letter grades they received during the 2020-2021 school year to “Pass or No Pass” grades. “Pass” grades do not affect a student’s GPA and ensures the coursework still counts towards a student’s graduation requirements.

School districts will provide a form that allows all high school students to submit grade change requests. Once the grade change request form is available, students will have 15 days to submit the form to their school. Schools must approve the grade change request if they receive a valid form within the 15-day timeframe. Families should contact the high school directly if they have difficulty locating the grade change request form.

See below for a list of school districts in San Diego County that have notified parents and students and provided forms for grade change requests: 

San Diego Unified School School District: posted August 2nd. Deadline: August 17th.
Sweetwater Union High School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 16th.

Other San Diego County schools:

Bonsall Unified School District: posted July 29th. Deadline: August 13th. 
Carlsbad Unified School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 20th. 
Coronado Unified School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 20th.
Grossmont Union High School District: posted July 29th. Deadline: August 13th.
Julian Union High School District: posted  July 30th. Deadline: August 14th.
Mountain Empire Unified School District: posted July 31st. Deadline: August 13th.
Oceanside Unified School District: posted July 28th. Deadline: August 12th.
Poway Unified School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 20th.
Ramona Unified School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 13th.
San Dieguito Union High School District: posted July 30th. Deadline: August 13th.
Valley Center-Pauma Unified District: posted August 2nd. Deadline August 17th.
Vista Unified School District: posted August 2nd. Deadline: August 18th.
Warner Unified School District: posted July 26th. Deadline: August 10th. 

WILL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ACCEPT TRANSCRIPTS WITH PASS/NO PASS GRADES?
 
California State University (CSU) system and University of California (UC) will accept transcripts with Pass/No Pass grades to determine admission for any students enrolled in high school during the 2020-21 school year. A list of private universities that have agreed to accept transcripts with Pass/No Pass grades for admissions is also available on the California Department of Education’s website. 

WILL STUDENTS FORFEIT ELIGIBILITY FOR FINANCIAL AID IF THEY USE THE PASS/NO PASS OPTION?

AB 104, specifically states that a grade change cannot result in a student losing eligibility or entitlement to California state or institutional student financial aid.

Some private universities, including those in other states, may choose not to accept Pass or No Pass grade for purposes of qualifying for financial aid. Those policies vary from school to school, and should be verified directly with the individual school.

WILL FAMILIES & STUDENTS BE ABLE TO REQUEST PASS/NO PASS GRADING OPTIONS BEYOND THIS YEAR?

No. AB 104 only provides grade change options for grades received in the 2020-21 school year. 


REQUEST FOR STUDENTS TO RETAKE THEIR GRADE 
 

WHAT STUDENTS ARE ENTITLED TO RETAKE THEIR GRADE?

Under AB 104, parents now have the right to request a consultation with school officials to discuss if their child should retake a grade level. 

A student and their family are entitled to a consultation if they meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. The student received deficient grades in at least one-half of their coursework taken during the 2020-21 school year. A deficient grade is a D, F, No Pass, or any equivalent as determined by the school.
     
  2. The student was enrolled in grade K-11 during the 2020-21 school year.

HOW DO FAMILIES REQUEST A CONSULTATION ON GRADE RETENTION?

To request a consultation, parents must submit a written request to the school where they are seeking to have their child retake a grade during the 2021-22 school year.

If the student is eligible, the school is required to offer a consultation to the family, which must take place within 30 calendar days from the date when the written request is submitted to the school. Schools must then notify families of their final decision within 10 days of the consultation.

WHAT SHOULD FAMILIES EXPECT DURING THE CONSULTATION PROCESS?

Consultations on retaking a grade level take place between a parent, a school administrator, and a teacher. The consultation must include:

  1. Discussion of all available learning recovery options, including credit recovery, academic and social-emotional supplemental supports, and grade retention.
     
  2. Consideration of the student’s academic performance and any other information relevant to whether retaking a grade level is in the student’s academic and social interest.
     
  3. Discussion about the research on the effects of student retention and other types of interventions.

DOES A PARENT’S REQUEST RESULT IN AUTOMATIC RETENTION OF THEIR CHILD IN THEIR CURRENT GRADE FOR THE 2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR?

No. Schools have the final say on whether to allow a student to remain in their current grade level. That decision will be informed by the discussion that occurs during the consultation process.
Under current law, parents do not have a process to request that their child retake a grade level. This bill provides a one-year opportunity for parents to engage with their schools about their child’s academic and social-emotional needs, which includes discussion of retention as an option.


RETAKING COURSEWORK AND OTHER CREDIT RECOVERY OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS 
 

HOW DO STUDENTS ACCESS CREDIT RECOVERY OPTIONS?

Schools are required to provide a student who is not on track to graduate with: (1) the opportunity to complete coursework required for graduation through credit recovery, including by retaking courses or enrolling in a 5th year of high school, and/or (2) schools may exempt the student from local graduation requirements that extend beyond standard state graduation requirements.


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

WHICH STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CREDIT RECOVERY OPTIONS OR EXEMPTIONS FROM LOCAL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS?
 
Students eligible for credit recovery options, like retaking a course or taking a 5th year of high school, are those who were enrolled in their third or fourth year of high school during the 2020-21 school year, and are not on track to graduate by the end of their fourth year.


FOR MORE INFORMATION
Office of Assemblywoman Gonzalez 
916-319-2080
| Assemblymember.Gonzalez@assembly.ca.gov 

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