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City Schools announces guidance on grading, promotion and retention

As we approach the final weeks of the 2020-21 school year, Baltimore City Public Schools remains focused on high quality teaching and learning through virtual, in-person, and hybrid learning. At the same time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students continue to experience challenges and interruptions in their learning. City Schools recognizes the difficult year our students have had and the pandemic’s impact on academic performance, progress, and social-emotional wellbeing.

Following input from the community, our grading practices will be adjusted for the current school year, with a commitment to:

  • Avoid the punitive approach of failing students. 
  • Avoid a reaction to unfairly retain students.
  • Provide a personalized, multi-year learning plan to support students in completing “unfinished learning” and earning the credits they need for graduation.

For this school year, if your child received an Unsatisfactory (U) or Fail (F) on their final report card in June, you will see the following changes:


Grade Levels and Grading Adjustments for the 2020-21 school year

Pre-K-1: No change

Grades 2-5: Replace Unsatisfactory (U) with Not Completed (NC) 

Grades 6-8: Replace Fail (F) with Not Completed (NC) 

Grades 9-12 and IB: Replace Fail (F) with No Credit (NC)

Students with NC on their report card will continue to the next grade level next school year and will have tailored learning opportunities in the summer and school year to support performance and growth.

Please read the Grading, Promotion, and Retention Guidance for students and families to learn more about what this adjustment will mean for your student and how you can support.

If you have any questions about the grading approach for this school year, please reach out to your school principal or administrator for support and additional guidance.