2019-2020 COVID-19 School Closure Updates

On April 15, Governor Lee recommended all Tennessee schools remain closed for the rest of the school year due to COVID-19. Hamilton County Schools is following this recommendation, but there are several areas that must be addressed in order to ensure an efficient and effective close-out of the school year takes place. Additionally, there are several considerations and recommendations that will be forthcoming to ensure students are prepared for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Below are the recommendations the board was asked to consider and for which they gave their approval at the BOE meeting held on 04/23/2020. Please note that these recommendations take into consideration CDC guidance:

  • Last Day for Seniors- May 4, 2020
  • Last Day for K-11- May 15, 2020
  • Teacher Professional Learning and Administrative Close-out- May 18-22, 2020

Senior Credit Requirements for Graduation
(Based on State Board Approved Modifications) 

Any student scheduled to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year must earn a minimum of 20 credit hours which include the following subjects:

  • 4 required credits of math
  • 4 required credits of English
  • 3 required credits of science
  • 2 required credits of social studies
  • 7 additional credits

Requirements for taking the ACT or SAT and passing the civics exam have been waived for any student scheduled to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year.

  • A student’s GPA will continue to be calculated as a result of the final grade in a course.
  • Students will receive a final course grade no lower than the grade earned in the course through the end of the Third Quarter (March 16) but can improve their overall grade for GPA calculations by completing remote learning credit opportunities in the course.
  • Additional weighting will still be added to courses for students in honors or postsecondary courses who were unable to participate in the culminating exam in the spring semester of 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • Senior Projects will not be required.

Testing Information

  • EOC Exams – EOC exams will not be given or included as a portion of the final grade for any course taken in the spring semester of 2020. 
  • ACT – The rescheduled state ACT exam date of April 21 has been cancelled. The next national ACT date has been set for June 13. Visit the ACT website for additional information.
  • International Baccalaureate – The DP and CP examinations scheduled between April 30 and May 22 will no longer be held. Visit the IB website for additional information.
  • Advanced Placement – AP exams are still being offered as online exams by College Board. For more information on the online AP exams, visit the AP website.
  • Statewide Dual Credit – Challenge exams for statewide dual credit have been cancelled for the Spring 2020 semester and will be provided to students who want the opportunity to bank post-secondary credit during the month of September 2020.
  • Local Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment – Students should work with their school and dual enrollment institution to determine the assessment requirements for each course.

Class of 2020 Graduation Schedule


Proms

Proms have been postponed at this time. We are in the process of evaluating alternative options to include, but not limited to cancellation, shifting the date to later in the summer, multi-school/learning community, etc.


Grading

The HCS Continued Learning Playbook, created and shared when school closure and the switch to continued learning first occurred in our district, states student grades should not be punitive but instead emphasize the revision process with opportunities for students to correct and redo work to show evidence of their learning.  Any work a student completes at home should be acknowledged by the teacher when submitted.

The last day that students in HCS attended school in-person was March 13, 2020, the final day of Quarter 3. To address the recent Tennessee State Board of Education ruling, HCS will calculate final student grades for all students using grades earned up through the end of Quarter 3. Students will have the opportunity to improve their final course grades through remote learning assignments completed after March 13.

This new preliminary final grade calculation in the gradebook will change to only include student grades up through the end of the third quarter. The new grading calculations will be as follows:

  • Year long courses - Semester 1 will count for 50% of the preliminary final grade calculation and Quarter 3 will count for 50% of the preliminary final grade calculation.
  • Semester 2 courses - Quarter 3 will count for 100% of the preliminary final grade calculation. 
  • Semester 1, Quarter 3, and Quarter 4 courses will not have any change to the final grade calculations in teacher gradebooks. 

Any work completed through continued learning opportunities after March 13th that would increase a student’s final course grade will be applied as a manual override to the students’ preliminary final course grade. The overall weight of the student’s completed continued learning work will be at the discretion of the student’s school.

Student GPAs will continue to be calculated using final course grades from the 2019-2020 school year and students will still earn course credit based on their final course grade.

Additional weighting will still be added to courses for students in honors or postsecondary courses who were unable to participate in the culminating exam in the spring semester of 2020 due to COVID-19.

The extended school closure due to COVID-19, will not be a cause for a student to be retained this year. Any decision about retention will be based on academic performance prior to March 13th and any conversation that took place before the end of the third quarter.

Third Quarter grades are currently accessible through the Parent and Student PowerSchool Portal. Updated preliminary final grades (Y1 grade) will tentatively be available to view through the PowerSchool Portal beginning the week of April 27th.

Elementary Grades:

Kindergarten through Grade 2 students are issued a standards based report card for reporting progress. For the 4th quarter, teachers will use any HCS Continued Learning assignment submitted during the COVID - 19 closure, as a tool to update performance against the standards covered in the work. To communicate 4th quarter performance, teachers will use the parent comment form to provide feedback on performance and share this with parents at the end of the school year.

During the 4th quarter, students in grades 3-5 will receive a final grade no lower than the grade earned through the end of the Third Quarter (March 13). Students can improve their overall grade by completing continued learning credit opportunities. Student grades are currently accessible through the Parent and Student PowerSchool Portal.

Middle School Grades:

During the 4th quarter, students will receive a final grade no lower than the grade earned through the end of the Third Quarter (March 13). Students can improve their overall grade by completing continued learning credit opportunities. Student grades are currently accessible through the Parent and Student PowerSchool Portal.
Middle School Students taking credit bearing courses will follow the 9-12 grade procedure.

High School Grades:

During the 4th quarter, students will receive a final grade no lower than the grade earned through the end of the Third Quarter (March 13). Students can improve their overall grade by completing continued learning credit opportunities. Senior Projects are not required.

For students in our High School courses:

  • A student’s GPA will continue to be calculated as a result of the final grade in the course.
  • Additional weighting will still be added to courses for students in honors or postsecondary courses who were unable to participate in the culminating exam in the spring semester of 2020 due to COVID-19.

Locker Clean-Out and Equipment Turn-In

May 4-22 will be reserved for locker clean-out and material turn-in. Individual schools will communicate details, schedule of appointment times, etc. to their school communities.


Technology

As we consider extended learning opportunities, it may be prudent to allow students to retain devices through the summer. The exception for technology turn in is as follows:

  • From May 4-22, schools will set up appointment times for any student in grade 5, 8, or 12 to return Chromebooks to their zone school.
  • If you know your child will be moving outside of the current school zone, please return the Chromebook to the school that issued your child the device.

Promotion and Academic Recognition

Schools will work individually to schedule virtual, mail-out and/or pick-up recognition options for students. 


Summer School-Age Childcare

During this challenging time, we will be offering limited school-age childcare sites and attendance will be also be limited. Click to read more...


Continued Learning

We recognize that the extended period without direct instruction may adversely impact many students. Continued learning will continue to take place through until the last day of school, May 4th (Seniors) and May 15th (K-11).

The federal government approved the CARES Act, which will afford local systems additional one-time funds to address learning needs due to COVID-19. Participation by students and teachers is optional, but will be encouraged. See attached for a draft of initial thoughts around the extension of continued learning.


HCS Summer Continued Learning Plan (Tentative)

June and July, 2020
June 1st through July 2nd

Each Learning Community will host a summer academy and determine the locations based on the feeder patterns.

Each Summer academy would be assigned a principal/leadership, summer school content support leader(instructional coach), secretary, and teachers for each grade level.

Schools will be supported by HCS Content support with supplemental lessons provided or if materials are available, we can front load new ELA content from the adoption.

Elementary Summer Support

8:30 - 1:00

 Kindergarten Readiness current K students beginning June 1 through July 2.

 Kindergarten Readiness for incoming K beginning July 6 - School Start date. 

 Grades 2-4 Transition School from June 1 - July 2 

 Early Start Date - July 27th for select schools

Middle School Summer Support

8:30 - 1:00

Transition School from June 1 - July 2 then pick back up July 27th.

High School Summer Support

Differentiated Start Times according to need
Virtual, Edgenuity, Credit Recovery

(In addition to school based programs),
Summer Gap Closure June 1 - July 2 then pick back up July 27th