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State says no need for high school seniors to finish school

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RALEIGH — Most of the state's high school seniors no longer have to worry about grades, classes or tests.

The state Board of Education unanimously approved a recommendation to switch to a pass/withdraw grading system for spring courses at the board's Friday meeting. Seniors will get a note on their transcript that they received a passing grade as opposed to a traditional letter grade.

If seniors were passing their classes as of March 13, they will receive a pass, and no longer need to do classwork this year in order to graduate.

If a senior has an F, they will be provided remote learning opportunities for the student to improve to a passing grade, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Options include working with the local district, enrolling in N.C. Virtual Public School, participating in credit recovery or passing a locally-developed final assessment, such as a teacher-made test.

Grades from fall courses will still count toward the senior's grade-point-average, DPI said in its recommendation.

The state board also temporarily suspended the ability for school districts to require more than 22 credits to graduate. Future Ready requirements for CPR will also be waived for 16,631 seniors across the state.

The hope is still to reopen schools in May, Chairman Eric Davis said. However, if that does not happened, DPI will issue guidance on how to grade students in kindergarten through 11th grades.

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