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Roving Teen Reporter:
Grading Grief

Neha Pubbi | Torrey Pines High School Junior

The Sandpiper editors would like to thank its outgoing roving teen reporter, Dhathry Doppalapudi, who will be moving on to the University of California San Diego in September to study computer science. We would also like to welcome Neha Pubbi, our incoming roving teen reporter, who is currently a Junior at Torrey Pines High School.

Dhathry Doppalapudi, outgoing roving teen reporter.
Neha Pubbi, incoming roving teen reporter.

COVID-19 has changed the normal for everyone. Students in San Diego ended the school year through online and distance learning and with an adapted grading policy, including the San Dieguito Union High School District (SDUHSD). They announced on April 3, 2020 that the district would be implementing a credit/no credit policy, also known as pass or fail. However, due to students’ and parents’ protests and pushback the district board voted to change the policy to a hybrid grading policy, where students have the option to choose credit/no credit or letter grades for each class of their second semester transcript on May 14, 2020- one month away from the end of the semester.

“I chose the letter grade option because I am in AP classes and it would help my Grade Point Average (GPA). I think most of the people I know chose the letter grade option because again they had kept up with the work and had weighted classes,” said Erin Poe, a Senior at Torrey Pines High School.

Many students chose and supported the letter grade option to raise their GPAs to be competitive college applicants, especially if they had weighted classes. Many students wanted to show colleges their grades, GPA, and progress over the year.

The policy change was a result of student and parent objection and petitions, drive-in protests, and the threat of board member recall.
“I think that the district originally made the pass/fail decision because they were trying to deal with everything going on, and they made a snap decision. They changed the policy because people were protesting and angry about it. When they decided the policy, there was not a lot of student voice in the decision and process originally,” said Poe.

Many were worried that the students would be negatively impacted in the college admissions process by only the credit/no credit option. However, not all students felt that way.

“I don’t think the pass/fail option would put students at a disadvantage at all because this pandemic is not just here in our own Carmel Valley bubble or San Diego, it is all over the globe and United States, so everyone is being affected by it. Overall, colleges will know that the transcript will not reflect your actual potential,” said Vianna Igo, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy.



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