Dear Alameda Unified School District Families,
On July 1, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 104, which provides significant opportunities for all students, but particularly for high school students. They are outlined below:
High school students may request that a letter grade from the 2020-2021 school year be changed to a Pass or No Pass grade;
Certain 2020-2021 high school juniors and seniors are allowed to graduate without meeting all local graduation requirements. Schools are required to provide additional support towards graduation including a fifth year of high school, credit recovery, or some other opportunity to complete CA State graduation requirements.
The bill also provides parents of “eligible pupils” a supplemental review process to consider retention at the 2020-2021 grade level, if desired.
AB 104 requires schools and districts to grant a request from a high school student to change a letter grade to a Pass or No Pass grade for a course during the 2020-2021 school year, without input from the student’s teacher. (Ed. Code, § 49066.5, added by AB 104.) The number or type of courses eligible for this transcript adjustment cannot be limited by the school or district, and the grade change cannot negatively impact a student’s grade point average.
If you are interested in requesting a grade change, please use the form attached to this email, or included at this CDE Template and submit it no later than Friday, August 20 to your school’s administration.
The bill also requires the California State University (CSU) and requests the University of California (UC) and private colleges to accept Pass or No Pass grades on a student’s transcript for those courses taken during the 2020–21 school year. It is important to note, however, that some postsecondary educational institutions, including those in other states, may not accept a Pass or No Pass grade instead of a letter grade for admission purposes. The list of postsecondary institutions in California that will accept, for admission purposes, a transcript with a Pass or No Pass grade instead of a letter grade can be found here.
Students will have 15 calendar days following the school or district’s posting and notice to make any grade change requests.
Schools and districts will have 15 calendar days after receiving a student’s request to change the transcript and notify the student and the parent/guardian of the change.
AB 104 also provides that schools and districts must allow high school students who were in their third or fourth year of high school during the 2020-2021 school year, and who were not on track to graduate in four years, to be exempt from all of the LEA’s graduation requirements that exceed statewide requirements. (Ed. Code, § 51225, added by AB 104.)
These students must still meet statewide coursework requirements to graduate and can be provided the opportunity to do so through completion of a fifth year of high school instruction, credit recovery, or some other manner.
Finally, AB 104 requires schools and districts to meet and consult with a parent/guardian within 30 calendar days after receiving a written request for an “eligible pupil” to be retained in the same grade level for the 2021-2022 school year. An “eligible pupil” is defined as a student who has received a D, F, or No Pass grade for at least one-half of the student’s coursework in the 2020-2021 school year, but does not include a pupil enrolled in grade 12 during the 2020-21 school year. During this consultation, the school must discuss all available learning recovery options, including access to retake prior semester courses where the student received the deficient grades, and other interventions and supports. The consultation must include research on the effects of pupil retention, which may include the multiple studies and evidence collected by the CDE that retention “does not produce higher achievement.” The school must notify the parent/guardian of a final determination of the student’s retention within 10 calendar days of the consultation. Notably, this new retention consultation and review process is supplemental to, but does not replace, the district’s existing policy on retention.
If you have questions about any of this, please reach out to your child’s school, or AUSD's Student Support Services department.
Jodi McCarthy, Coordinator of Student Support Services
Phone: 510-337-7000 ext 77094