Fort Worth ISD enacts grade recovery policy for failing students

Fort Worth ISD made another change to help students struggling with their grades during the pandemic.

In a memo sent out to schools this month, it outlined a plan to allow students to make up for failing grades before the school year is over.

Now, students who are failing a subject will be allowed to redo or retake any assignment or test that he or she fails.

The district has reported a large number of students who are failing at least one class. The district says the pandemic presented extenuating circumstances for students. So until the end of the year, students are able to make up failed grades.

This month, Fort Worth ISD teachers and staff were notified about a grade and credit recovery plan.

The plan would allow students to make up assignments and tests scored lower than a 70. Students have until the last day of school this year to make up those assignments or tests.

"I wanted to reassure you that our teachers and campus leaders are paying close attention to this and set up ways for our students to make up and get those grades up before the end of the semester," said FWISD Associate Superintendent Sara Arispe.

The change comes after board members learned in December that 55% of students’ grades in math alone dropped during the first semester.

"40% of our students - and we may have not expected this - increased, despite the COVID impact," Arispe said. "What I want to look more at is the 55 who decreased."

In the first board meeting of 2021, the achievement gap in the district was briefly mentioned.

During Tuesday’s presentation, district leaders revealed that in the first part of the fall semester, 44% of high school freshmen students were failing at least one subject. It slightly increased to 46% in the last six weeks of the semester.

"We are hoping that it evens out, and the measures put in place will help students recapture that for their semester grade," Arispe said.

District Chief Academic Officer Jerry Moore told board members that they have multiple goals in place to assist teachers and help students improve this semester.

"It will respond to the failure rates that we experienced with our students and also respond to the loss in number of students taking the SAT and ACT," he said.

The policy change also addresses attendance restoration.