Fairfax County Public Schools changes grading policy for students who don't turn in assignments

The district says teachers can now give students zeroes for assignments that aren’t turned in. Previously, a 50% was the lowest grade that teachers could give a student who did not turn work in. A 50% is still the minimum grade teachers can give for submitted assignments. 

Teachers also have the option to use a rolling gradebook. This differs from a traditional gradebook by giving students opportunities to be reassessed on material from past quarters and have their grades updated or replaced. 

For teachers who choose to use a traditional gradebook, the lowest quarter grade they can give a student is 50%. The same goes for students who make a reasonable effort to finish an assignment.  

The changes were based on input from students, teachers, parents, caregivers, principals and staff. 

Last year, Fairfax County Public Schools received criticism from parents who argued that the district’s new grading system made it "easier" for students to get higher grades.

Some took issue with the policies that FCPS said were designed to give students additional "opportunities to demonstrate proficiency," such as students receiving unlimited test retakes and being able to turn their homework in later. 

FCPS says it will maintain the current late work policy, which requires teachers to accept major assignments up to two weeks late and only allows them to deduct 10% for that time period. 

They add that in the 2024-25 school year, they will be doing away with the 4-point grading system and will only use a 100-point scale district-wide.