New bill allows students to make up pandemic grades


Elyssa Kennedy

Bill 104 allows students to make up lower grades due to the pandemic from the 2020–2021 school year.

Students will have the choice to make up lower grades from the 2020–2021 school year after the State of California passed Assembly Bill 104. The bill allows students to repeat the previous school year and change any grade to pass/no-pass; it also allows upperclassmen to change their graduation requirements to be more lenient.

Students, particularly underclassmen, could gain the most by repeating the year, according to Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Coordinator Aranxta Arriada. Beyond that, the bill’s lessened graduation requirements mean more students can graduate.

Most AVID students are considering changing their grades to improve their GPA, according to Arriada. She explained this could, for example, allow more students to qualify for a Cal Grant A, which requires a 3.0 GPA and can cover a student’s tuition at a University of California or California State University. Without the grant, Arriada said some students would have to take out large loans or be unable to attend any state school.

“This option is worth thousands of dollars a year for some of my students,” Arriada said. “Just in my AVID class alone, I have seven students who didn’t qualify [for Cal Grant A], but now, with being able to change a D or a couple C grades to a pass, they reach that 3.0 benchmark. It’s huge.”

Students choosing to change grades to the pass/no-pass option must fill out this form; to repeat the 2020–2021 school year, students must fill out this form and have a meeting with a school representative to discuss their options. The deadline for the forms is Thursday, August 12. While there is no form for student-specific graduation requirements, school counselors and administrators will meet with students to discuss changes and further plans. 

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