Grades, Graduation, and Testing Updates for COVID19
We hope that you are safe and healthy during this pandemic. We know that we are living in uncertain times with a lot of moving parts. We also know that there is a lot of information out here currently and it can be confusing to know what the next steps are. While things are still ever-changing, we wanted to address some of the questions, deadlines, and concerns around End of Year grades, report cards, testing, promotion, and graduation. Please read the Information and Frequently Asked Question Guide below.
Grades & Report Cards
Q: Where can I view grades and report cards?
A: Students have had access to work since March 18. A student’s grade this semester will not be lower than their Quarter 3 Grade (which were submitted on Friday, March 13). However, a student has completed work it does allow him or her students to improve their grades for the semester. Your student’s Quarter 4 grades will be submitted by teachers by Friday, May 15. We will finalize report cards by late May. Reports cards will be available through the PowerSchool portal. If you do not have access to PowerSchool, please call or text 225-286-9005.
Progression to Next Grade Level
Q: My child failed the 3rd 9 weeks or had several missing assignments and incomplete work. They were not able to makeup or recover grades because of state closure. What happens to my student if he “fails” or is not able to makeup work because schools do not reopen?
A: We hope your student was able to complete their assignments during distance learning at this time – as that work would replace missing of failing grades during the third 9 weeks (Quarter 3). Due to our distance learning platform being used by teachers and students for the last 7 weeks, students have had the opportunity to make up work and raise their grades even though the school building is closed. Students that did not earn a passing grade will an opportunity to improve their grade prior to the next school year.
Q: I cannot access work online. What about my student that does not have access to the internet? How will my kids stay caught up and not fall further behind?
A: We hope that your student was able to take advantage of our laptop distribution and the free wifi services outlined in our initial parent communication. However, no student who was unable to complete work will be penalized for Quarter 4. Students who were able to complete work since the closure of school had an opportunity to improve their grades and GPA. Families were encouraged to pick up paper packets in circumstances where internet was unable to be connected. If you have any further questions, please contact (225) 239-7506.
Testing and Credentials
Q: What will happen with end of year assessments? My child was supposed to take LEAP this year, what is the status of LEAP testing?
A: The Louisiana Department of Education has been granted waivers from the United States Department of Education to “suspend…the annual administration of the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) and End of Course examinations.” This waiver would excuse seniors and graduating juniors from having to pass previously required End of Course examinations for graduation. Also, students in grades 9-11 in high school will not be required to take LEAP 2025.
Q: My student is enrolled with a Jumpstart/TOPS high school class that requires an “Industry-Based” Credential to pass or get credit for the course. What will happen with Credentials?
A: BESE has waived policy related to graduation and promo on that included “Career Diploma IBC (Industry Based Credential) requirement.” These credentials will no longer be required for students to pass a course or class.
Q: Has the state and national test administration of ACT been rescheduled?
A: Yes. The state administration of ACT has been rescheduled for June 2, 2020. This would be for all students in grade 11 and seniors who have no ACT score on file with the Department of Education. The national administration of ACT has been rescheduled for June 13, 2020. All individuals who were registered to take the ACT in April will receive emails from ACT with directions for free rescheduling. Information is available on ACT’s website https://www.act.org.
Seniors: Checkout, Graduation, & TOPS
Q: What is the status of our senior fees?
A: Senior Fees will be refunded less $100 and pictures (if paid for). All refunds will be issued in the name of the senior unless the funds were received in person by another individual. In that case the funds will be refunded in that person’s name. Refunds will be distributed the week of May 18 during Senior Pick Up.
Q: My child is a senior. What will happen to his or her status?
A: Seniors are a major priority for the school. We understand the sense of urgency and commitment it has taken for your student to have a chance to graduate. Rest assured, we are taking steps to audit every senior’s transcript and collaborate with school counselors to determine next steps to ensure our seniors have every opportunity to graduate.
Q: My senior completed all of their classwork. How do I get their diploma and cap and gown?
A:. Diplomas and caps and gowns will be distributed the week of May 18. Please be on the lookout for the exact date and time for your senior.
Q: With school closure and us being unable to gather in crowds, what is happening with graduation?
A: We are closely monitoring all local, state, and federal orders and guidelines as it pertains to large gatherings. It is our hope to preserve an in-person commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020, however this may change as guidelines evolve and we move closer to the start of the next school year. We will continue monitoring this situation and share further plans as they are solidified. Diplomas will be distributed the week of May 18 during Senior Pick Up; the exact date and additional information around a graduation ceremony will go out in future communications.
Q: How will the recent announcement regarding the closure of schools affect graduation and TOPS? Will the senior courses be considered completed in regard to the TOPS program which pays for half of their college education?
A: Guidance went out to schools on April 8th regarding how to evaluate completion of a course. If a student is awarded credit for the course, a passing grade of “D” or better, they will get the same credit for the course towards meeting graduation requirements and TOPS eligibility as in the past. Essentially, if the student passes coursework there will be no impact to potential graduation or potential scholarship opportunities. Students have until May 15 for face-to-face classes to complete credit/grade recovery for any final grade that was an “F” in a grading period. May 8th is the deadline to complete online learning courses needed for graduation (Edgenuity).
Q: Will a student who has not completed the financial aid planning requirement be eligible to graduate?
A: The financial aid requirement is waved in that there is a hardship waiver option, so the student can graduate. Schools can maintain a list of those students and complete a hardship waiver. For any student needing to complete the Free Application on for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), online and phone support can be accessed by sending a request to [email protected] It should be noted that, although FAFSA has been waived as a graduation requirement, students and parents need to confirm the FAFSA requirements for TOPS as established by the Louisiana Office of Students Financial Assistance (LOSFA). The FAFSA is still a requirement for TOPS, and other state and federal financial aid.
There are benefits to still completing the FAFSA; the primary reason is to reduce post-secondary expenses. In addition to state financial aid programs, e.g. TOPS and LA Go Grant, there are also Federal Student Aid programs that require FAFSA completion, including: Pell Grant Program/SEOG; Federal Work Study; Federal Direct Loans; and Certain scholarships, like the Bill Gates Scholarship.
Several institutions even use the FAFSA as the scholarship application. Additionally, in order to be awarded scholarships at many highly selective institutions, you must complete the FAFSA and College Scholarship Service Profile.
Q: My child is class of 2020 and although I realize your info released today mentions a later graduation ceremony. He is scheduled to go to Boot Camp in June. When will we know if he is going to be classified as a graduate? Unfortunately, he cannot fulfill a military contract unless he is a graduate.
A: By May 18, all grades and work should be completed, and students will know if they have met graduation requirements and satisfied all necessary conditions to be awarded a diploma. Remember, it is the diploma, not participation in a ceremony that certifies your student as a graduate. Students and parents are strongly encouraged to email the school counselor or principal if they have specific concerns regarding graduation standings or academic status.