DOE Announces Plans for Remote Summer School

The Department of Education announced remote summer school for students who receive a “Course in Progress” grade, which is part of its new grading policy.

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In an update sent to families on May 19, NYC Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced that summer school will be conducted remotely this year. High school students who receive a “Course in Progress” grade or NX on their report card, will participate in summer school from July 6 to August 14.

“Course in Progress” grades are part of the revised grading policy for the 2019-2020 school year, which the DOE announced on April 28. With the new grading policy in place, no student will receive a failing grade. Instead, students will receive “Course in Progress,” allowing them to fulfill the course requirements after the school year ends without having to retake the class entirely. Students may request to convert any passing spring semester grade to CR (Credit Received), meaning that while the student will earn credit for the course, it will not impact their GPA.

Many students are unwilling to convert their grades to CR, however, because they are worried the implication that they performed below-average in a course will negatively affect them in the future. “I am confident about my grades, and I feel like I'd rather keep them than CR them. I think CRing grades would have a worse effect on my transcript than keeping them, even if they bring my GPA down one or two points,” sophomore Victor Veytsman said in an e-mail interview.

Sophomore Jennifer Sun agreed: “I feel like it would seem suspicious to colleges if you CR a grade, even if it’s not that bad.”

Other students feel that colleges will be lenient and understanding when reviewing transcripts given the current circumstances. “I do think [converting a grade to CR] might have a negative effect on my college transcript, but I've heard rumors about how they’ll use your previous performances within the subject,” freshman Jesse Ding said in an e-mail interview. “I’d like to think that colleges are forgiving and [that] they understand that everyone has been struggling with the pandemic.”

Seniors, who no longer have the pressure of the college application process, feel more inclined to convert grades to CR. “Going into college as a STEM major, I've decided to prioritize my work in my STEM classes more than my humanities classes,” senior George Zhou said in an e-mail interview. “I think being a senior has had [a] big impact on my decision. If I were a junior, I would have still been a robot mindlessly doing work without thinking about the reason for doing it. In addition, I can afford to CR [a] class as a senior.”

Students who receive a grade of NX are expected to attend remote summer school. The program will be held four or five days a week and focus on helping students gain prerequisite knowledge for the upcoming academic year. In addition to completing assignments, students will be able to participate in virtual field trips and social-emotional learning activities. The DOE will continue distributing laptops to students in need to ensure that remote learning functions as easily as possible.

Some students, however, believe the problems that arose during the school year will arise again during remote summer school. Junior Anna Lu said, “If students aren't able to complete their schoolwork because of issues with the Internet, access to a device, or other barriers to remote learning, I don't think it's fair to expect those problems to be fixed when remote summer school starts.”