On July 1, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 104 (Chapter 41/2021), which includes several provisions to address student learning loss that occurred during the 2020–21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic (see “Legislature Sends Student Retention Bill to Governor Newsom” in the June 2021 Fiscal Report). As an urgency measure, the bill took effect upon signature, meaning local educational agencies (LEAs) are already required to follow these provisions.
Included in AB 104 is language that authorizes parents/guardians of students who were enrolled in a high school course during the 2020–21 school year (or students, if 18 years old or older) to request a grade change. Eligible individuals may apply to the student’s LEA to change the letter grade on the student transcript to Pass or No Pass. LEAs are not allowed to limit the number or type of courses eligible for the grade change, and the grade change cannot negatively impact a student’s grade point average.
The bill also requires the California State University (CSU) and requests the University of California (UC) and private colleges to accept Pass or No Pass grades on a student’s transcript for those courses taken during the 2020–21 school year. Additionally, the bill required the CSU, and requested the UC and private colleges, to confirm and notify the California Department of Education (CDE) that they will accept Pass or No Pass grades on a student’s transcript.
Over the past week, the CDE has released the Grade Change Request Form and the list of postsecondary institutions in California that will accept, for admission purposes, a transcript with a Pass or No Pass grade instead of a letter grade. AB 104 stipulates that within 15 calendar days of the CDE releasing the application template, LEAs serving high school students must post the following to their website:
- The application to request a grade change (we recommend using the CDE template found here)
- The list of postsecondary educational institutions that will accept Pass or No Pass grades on the student’s transcript for admission purposes (you can find that list here)
- A statement that some postsecondary educational institutions, including those in other states, may not accept a Pass or No Pass grade instead of a letter grade for admission purposes
Since the CDE posted the template on July 16, 2021, that gives LEAs serving high school students until July 31, 2021, to post the above information on their website.
Once this information is posted by the applicable LEAs, parents and students have 15 calendar days to apply for a grade change; LEAs cannot accept grade change applications after those 15 days. An LEA has 15 calendar days from when the grade change request is submitted to make the change on the student’s transcript and notify the student and/or parents.