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When and how should schools re-open?
03:38 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Students in Washington state won’t have to worry about failing their classes, as they work to finish their schoolwork and take classes online during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction released grading guidelines this week for the state’s 1.1 million students.

High school students who can’t meet the requirements to earn a passing grade this semester will get an incomplete, which will not hurt their GPA, the office said. They’ll have the chance to make up those grades in the future.

Each school district in the state can set its own policies, under the guidelines, but teachers will continue to give assignments and grades for the rest of the school year.

Suggested options include giving grades of A, B, C, D or incomplete, or A, B or incomplete. Seattle Public Schools voted Monday to give students either an A or an incomplete, CNN affiliate KOMO reported.

Schoolwork that was assigned after the state closed school buildings and stopped in-person learning March 17 won’t hurt students’ grades.

“Every student should have the opportunity to take a deep breath right now and know that they are not moving backwards in their grades,” Superintendent Chris Reykdal said in a YouTube video on Tuesday explaining the plan.

Washington is one of 39 states and the District of Columbia that has ordered or recommended schools don’t reopen. Educators around the country are working to assign grades and keep students from falling behind.

North Carolina released special guidelines for the spring 2020 semester on Thursday, CNN affiliate WRAL reported. High school students will be able to get a letter grade, or the grade PC19, “Pass Covid-19,” or a WC19, “Withdrawn Covid-19.”

Reykdal said that only 6.7% of high school students in the state had failing grades a year ago in the spring 2019 semester.

He said they did not want to give a pass/fail option because of concerns that students who are struggling would get the same marks as those who are excelling.

Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will be promoted to the next grade unless their teacher and parents or guardian agree that they should repeat the grade.

More than 90% of the world’s students – over 1.5 billion kids – are learning from home because of the pandemic, according to UNESCO.