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Oregon seniors with passing grades and on track to graduate will receive diplomas amid school closure

For seniors who are failing classes, they'll have opportunities to earn credits and meet the necessary diploma requirements.

PORTLAND, Ore. — In conjunction with Gov. Kate Brown’s Wednesday announcement that in-person classes at Oregon schools will be canceled for the remainder of the school year to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Oregon Department of Education released guidance to schools about how to award diplomas to class of 2020 seniors.

While in-person classes are canceled, schools will still have remote distance learning for the rest of the academic year.

The 14-page guidance from ODE focuses on numerous plausible scenarios for students and staff. Here is a breakdown of two of the most common scenarios.

Seniors who were set to graduate and passing classes at time of school closure

  • These seniors will receive a diploma. Passing grades at the time when schools were closed last month are defined as A-D or equivalent. If a student had a passing grade when schools were closed, they will simply receive a “pass” grade for those classes.
  • Schools will reach out to students and their families by April 30 to let them know they have met credit requirement to receive a diploma. The school will then outline a plan to continue the student’s learning and transition to career and college.

Seniors who were failing classes at time of school closure

  • These seniors will have an opportunity to earn credit for course work or learning they have engaged with since the school closure in March. Failing is defined as an F or equivalent grade. For the time being, these students will receive an “incomplete” grade for the class they are failing. The district will provide opportunities for students to improve to a passing grade.
  • Schools will reach out to students and their families by April 30 to confirm the student needs additional credits to receive a diploma. Staff will outline a plan to continue the student’s chance of earning credits and meeting diploma requirements. Those requirements must be met by Aug. 31.

Beyond the classroom, ODE recognized seniors won't be experience many of the social elements that come with the end of their final year of high school, including senior trips, proms, baccalaureates and potentially graduation ceremonies.

"We ask that districts and communities come together to find ways to celebrate the many accomplishments of the class of 2020," ODE said.

Click here to read the full guidance from ODE

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