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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -- The coronavirus pandemic has already changed how teachers instruct their students. Now it's changing how they grade them.

Districts like Greenville County Schools have already announced their change: online assignments will be graded on participation and engagement.

MORE: Greenville Co. Schools' new eLearning guidelines will grade based on participation, engagement

State Department of Education spokesperson Ryan Brown said the office has given districts the authority to change their grading for eLearning courses. 

Brown said some districts are taking an approach similar to the Greenville district. Others are grading students only on a pass or fail basis.

However, the mandatory classes a student must take to receive a high school diploma must still be graded on a numerical scale.

Greenville County School District spokesperson Tim Waller said a focus group of teachers and principals came up with their plan after seeing some students start to fall behind.

Teachers with the district will now base grades on whether or not a students completes their assignment and takes part in class phone calls or Google meets.

"Every teacher has those teachers in their classroom who do remarkably well in the traditional classroom setting, but for whatever reason -- possibly because of their home environment, possibly due to scheduling in their household -- they don't do so well without a face to face meeting every day with their teacher," Waller said.

Waller said these participation grades will not be handouts and students will still have to log on to their Chromebooks or complete their paper packets every day.

Here's a breakdown of how other districts are addressing eLearning grading: 

  • Anderson Schools District 1: Assignments being graded as "Meets" or "Needs Improvement"
  • Anderson Schools District 2: Grading students on the second semester as a whole, rather than third and fourth quarters
  • Anderson Schools District 3: Grading students for engagement and completion of assignments 
  • Anderson Schools District 4: Grading elementary students as for engagement and middle school students for both engagement and mastery
  • Anderson Schools District 5: Not changing the grading system because students have been using eLearning longer
  • Pickens County School District: Preparing to release plan
  • Spartanburg County School District 3: Still assigning grades, but giving students extra time to work with their teacher
  • Spartanburg County School District 4: Still discussing possibilities with teachers and principals
  • Spartanburg County School District 7: Finalizing plan

Copyright 2020 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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