Fort Dodge Community School District

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No Letter Grades to be Given for Second Semester at FDCSD - from The Messenger

April 24, 2020

Fort Dodge Senior High students who were passing a class on the last day school was in session will be given a pass for that class, the Fort Dodge Community School District announced Thursday night, releasing its plan for graduation requirements.

“We didn’t want any of our students to be advantaged or disadvantaged from the situation they are in,” said Dr. Jesse Ulrich, FDCSD superintendent. “We thought it was the most fair and ethical way to achieve credit for our students.”

Due to the threat of COVID-19, the last day FDSH seniors were in class was March 13.

If a student is given a pass for their class, they will receive the credit needed toward graduation.

No letter grades will be given for the second semester, the district announced.

According to the district, students who were failing a class at the time of the closure will be given the chance to complete credit recovery for the course.

When a student shows proficiency for the class, a pass will be awarded and credit given toward graduation.

If a student who is failing a class does not complete the needed credit work to the point of proficiency by May 28, they will be withdrawn from the class, will not receive the credit and will need to retake the course.

The district said teachers will be reaching out directly to students who may want to consider credit recovery.

“Our teachers will work with individual students on making sure to turn in additional coursework,” Ulrich said. “If connectivity is an issue we would be able to provide them materials and hard copy to show the learning that they have. We want to make sure every student who right now isn’t receiving credit has an equitable opportunity to receive credit for the course. We will make sure they have every opportunity in the world.”

On April 17, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that face-to-face classes would not resume for the 2019-20 school year.

The FDCSD is offering voluntary learning activities throughout the remainder of the school year. Those activities are not required or graded.

The FDCSD will end student instruction for the school year on May 29 as originally planned.

Most schools had been out since mid-March when Reynolds declared a statewide public health disaster due to the threat of COVID-19.

Plans for a possible graduation ceremony later in the year for the approximately 250 Dodger seniors have not yet been finalized.

But Ulrich said he does not see a path to having a face-to-face graduation on May 31, the day that ceremony was to be held.

Instead, Ulrich is hopeful that a traditional commencement can be held near the end of summer.

“Our desire, because of the size of the class, community tradition and importance of that ceremony — our desire is to have some type of traditional commencement ceremony,” Ulrich said. “The turf project will be beginning at Dodger Stadium. So because of the pandemic and the turf project, we think it will be best to wait until the end of summer to give a commencement ceremony for our students that they deserve.”

Ulrich believes the seniors should be recognized formally for their accomplishments.

“I think this is just another way we are trying to show them that they matter,” Ulrich said. “Them ending their educational journey in Fort Dodge Community Schools, it will not be forgotten and we will do everything we can to give them the respect they deserve for the work they did while they were here. We also want our families and community to be able to celebrate with them. They are a special group and we want to make sure we recognize them in the right way.”

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