High School Grading Options

(Click here for a printable pdf of options)

Due to the emergency closure of schools by Governor Inslee, high school students and middle school students earning high school credits will have two options for how 3rd trimester grades will appear on the official transcript for the 2019-2020 school year.

1. Letter Grade (A through C):

  • You will receive a traditional letter grade on your high school transcript.
  • Letter grades continue to impact cumulative GPAs.

2. Incomplete Grade:

  • This option can be initiated by students notifying teachers by June 8.
  • The incomplete remains on your transcript and can be changed to a letter grade when the course has been completed at some point during high school. There are several options for completion (such as retake course, test out, etc.). Please work with your high school counselor.
  • Incomplete grades do not impact cumulative GPAs positively or negatively.
  • If you are maintaining NCAA eligibility, please check with the Clearinghouse before choosing this option.
  • Please research your post-secondary institutions (military, trades,
    apprenticeships, and 2- or 4-year institutions) before choosing this option.

The default choice for all students is a letter grade. Students must notify teachers by June 8 if they choose the incomplete option.

We recognize individual circumstances vary and our priority is to err on the side of compassion. Students may choose a combination of letter grades or
incompletes by course
(ie: a student may choose to receive a letter grade in two classes and an incomplete in the remaining three).

High School Grading Guidelines

(Click here for a printable pdf of guidelines)

Letter Grade Options: A, B, C, I    (NEW OSPI RULES April 22)
Teachers will issue a third trimester final grade of A, B, C, or Incomplete. Students cannot receive a P, NC, or F. The only exceptions to this rule are students who have learning plans that specify a specific grading system.

Do no harm
Students can receive a third trimester grade no lower than the overall grade they earned as of March 17, except for Incomplete. They can only improve it; they cannot reduce it.

Students who do not or cannot engage in learning may earn an Incomplete. Students who earn an Incomplete will have a wide variety of ways to complete a course. More details will follow.

Courses completed during the third trimester will receive a special statewide designator to denote the special circumstances in which it was taken.

High School Grading FAQs

(Click here for a printable pdf of FAQs)

Why is the district using a new grading system for third trimester at KHS?
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) adopted new rules as a result of the emergency closure that we must follow for all high school courses. OSPI’s Do No Harm rule protects students from adverse consequences of the emergency closure and limitations of Remote Learning.

What final grades can students earn on third trimester transcripts?
A, B, C, or Incomplete. Pass, No Credit, and/or F grades will not appear on third trimester transcripts.

How will this affect accumulated GPAs?
A, B, or C letter grades are calculated into the accumulated GPA. Incomplete does not affect accumulated GPA.

What if an IEP or 504 Plan specifies a different grading system?
The grading system in the learning plan will be followed.

How will students finish a course with a grade of Incomplete?
Students will have a variety of ways to finish a course that is Incomplete, including options that stretch into the duration of high school years. More details will emerge for these options.

Do Incomplete grades result in earning a credit for the course?
No. While a grade of Incomplete does not affect accumulated GPA, it also does not result in earning credit for the course. Students will still need to earn enough credits to graduate with a Kelso High School, Loowit, or KVA diploma. Students won’t earn a credit until they finish the requirements for the course. Upon completion of the course, the “I” will be changed to the grade earned.

What about students taking high school courses in middle school like Algebra I, Geometry, or Advanced Science?
Middle school students who are taking high school courses follow these same rules.

How will third trimester grades be listed on transcripts?
Transcripts will look similar. Final grades for third trimester will have a statewide designator that indicates they were earned in these unique circumstances of emergency closure.

What is the impact of this new system on admissions to Washington colleges and universities?
Washington colleges and universities published guidance on April 9 that stated admissions will not be harmed due to the emergency school closure.

Do these new rules affect academic college scholarships, NCAA eligibility, or military enlistment?
No. This is one of the major reasons OSPI changed their guidance to these new rules. Grades of P, NC, and F do not adequately communicate student progress in this time of long-term emergency school closure.

What about SAT or ACT tests for admissions?
SAT and ACT have changed testing schedules. See information at their websites: SAT and ACT. Some universities are announcing that SAT or ACT scores are no longer required starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

Does this affect AP tests?
AP tests are under the authority of the College Board and do not directly affect grades or accumulated GPAs. The College Board is adjusting the test to accommodate the emergency school closure. See more information at their website. Students should contact their AP teacher for details.

Can students choose to waive a course due to the emergency school closure?
No. Potential waivers are only for seniors. While the Washington State Board of Education adopted new emergency rules that allow districts to waive certain graduation credits for seniors, the following guidelines are in place:

  • Seniors must continue to learn and attempt to earn credits. This is a good-faith effort to earn credit for the course.
  • Seniors do not earn credits with a waiver.
  • The waiver simply eliminates the requirement of the course for graduation purposes.
  • The waivers are only for this year.

What if I have questions about class credits?
If you have questions in regards to credits, please contact your counselor.