Spring 2020 COVID19 Special Grading Guidelines

During the Spring 2020 COVID19 Pandemic Emergency, Tomball ISD was required to close campuses and provide instruction through a continuity plan consisting of online coursework and other remote communication with teachers.   The Tomball ISD school year is divided into four marking periods, each of nine weeks.  The first two constitute the Fall Semester, and the final two the Spring Semester.  The third marking period, which would also be the first of the two Spring marking periods, ended just prior to Spring Break (March 9-13).  Students did not return to campus following spring break, so it was the entire fourth marking period that contained the COVID19 Instructional Continuity Plan.  In order to address the many challenges students and families faced on short notice, the district developed and implemented provisional grading guidelines which we communicated to parents on April 2, 2020 (see attachment). For the fourth marking period students received grades for two categories of work: Completion and Competency.  The average for both of these categories made up 50% of the course grade for the fourth marking period.   In an effort to prevent students from experiencing a negative impact on their official course averages which appear on the report card and transcript, a provision was approved for the fourth marking period to use the better grade from between the provisional average (the one made up from the Completion and Competency categories for assignments during the closure), OR the course grade from the THIRD marking period.  In this way, a higher course average in the fourth marking period could possibly help to increase an average, but could not decrease the average.   Please see the examples below:
 
Student A:  Third Marking Period Grade - 89; Fourth Marking Period Grade - 92.  In this case, the fourth marking period grade is higher and will be used on the report card and for calculating the semester average.
 
Student B:  Third Marking Period Grade - 89; Fourth Marking Period Grade - 72.  In this case, the fourth marking period grade would bring the average down, so it is substituted with a grade 89*.  The 89 comes from the third marking period grade, and the * indicates that a special provision has been applied and directs the parent to the HAC for detailed information on the actual fourth marking period grades earned by the student.  This prevents any lowering of the average due to performance during the emergency measures.
 
For elementary school students, this provision was categorically applied to enrichment courses such as Fine Arts, PE, etc.  Although students may have received instruction in those areas, there was no grading of assignments for the fourth marking period, so the third marking period grade was repeated accordingly.  For those courses, there will be no grades in the HAC for the fourth marking period.