What’s Going on with Credits

Paris Fuller, News Editor

After Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds directed schools to be closed for the remainder of the school year, the Iowa City Community School District is bringing learning opportunities to the houses of students through online classes which began April 27. 

“I think online classes are good. I mean what else are we gonna do during quarantine? It’s a good way for students to keep up with they’re learning in an easy way.” Shelby Caldwell ‘21 said.

Students who currently have a passing grade in their class can choose to take a “P,” which means that they pass the class and are done with it for the rest of the school year. If students choose the pass option this will not affect their current GPA, just the grade for that class. Principal John Bacon believes there is no risk to taking as many classes as you can.

“I encourage students to stick with as many classes as they can handle. The worst you can do is pass the course. If they do well, they can earn a positive letter grade that will boost [their] grade-point average. No risk, only the benefit of increased educational experiences.”  Bacon said.

 This is the same for Advanced Placement classes as well. Students can also continue and earn a grade that would go towards their new GPA. Mary Peterson, one of the school’s guidance counselors shares the question she has received the most from students.

“By far, the most common question I have received is ‘I have an A or B in my course, can I take the pass and will the A show on my transcript?’ The answer to that is no, if you take the pass, on your transcript, you will receive credit for the course, but the grade will be listed as a ‘P.’ This will not affect your GPA. I am recommending to students to try and keep the A or B by participating in the online work.” Peterson said.

On April 21, a link was sent out containing a form called “The student intent form” in which students decided which classes they will be continuing for the rest of the school year. Students who do not meet course expectations or fail their online class will receive a “W,” or withdraw, and no credit for that course. This, however, will be waived for seniors if it’s a graduation credit. All other students will be allowed to retake a course through credit recovery options if they are needed to graduate. 

“You can switch from earning a grade to a pass at any time before the trimester is over. Students would just need to communicate this with their teacher. This is possible in any course. A student could start taking all of their classes for a grade, but maybe they are working or have family responsibilities and cannot keep up with all their classes. They could choose to take a pass on the classes they are struggling in the most and grades for the others. The district has been very mindful of the uniqueness of the school closures due to Covid-19 and want[s] to protect this from having negative ramifications on students in the future.”  Peterson said. 

Teachers are also given guidelines for teaching students online. Teachers have office hours so that students have time to ask questions to their teachers.

“Teachers are to deliver a lesson, presentation, or reading assignment once per week on a designated day. The work they assign is not to exceed three hours per week. They are also directed to provide two different office hours opportunities to give students direct feedback during the week.” Bacon said. 

Parents or students with questions are encouraged to reach out to their guidance counselor, teacher, or principal.