CCISD’s New Grading System Explained


Superintendent Greg Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Karen Engle, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Holly Hughes and Director of Guidance and Counseling, Dava West, discuss the new grading policy on Facebook live.

Fiza Kuzhiyil, Editor-in-Chief

The district announced on Wednesday that CCISD will move to a pass or fail grading system for the second semester for students grades 6-12. 

Greg Smith, Superintendent of Schools, Karen Engle, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Holly Hughes, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Dava West, Director of Guidance and Counseling, discussed the new grading policy on Facebook live on Wednesday, April 8.

The pass/fail system recommended by the Texas Education Agency will count a 60% as a passing grade. 

Smith explained that this decision was made due to the fact that “distance learning is not the same as real classroom engagement.”

According to Karen Engle, Assistant Superintendent, students cannot choose to have their numeric grades instead of pass/fail, but they can view the numeric grades on Skyward.

“Every assignment from here on and prior is a numeric grade,” Engel said. “On the final transcript, it will just be pass/fail, but they will have record of their numeric grades throughout this process [and] throughout this semester.”

As parents and students worried about the implications of their grades when applying to college, Dava West, Director of Guidance and Counseling, explained that when sending transcripts out to colleges, high schools will send a “profile” that explains the extenuating circumstances and what the district’s grading policies are.

“Some [colleges] are even saying that for the next three years they are understanding the impact of this,” West said.

“Ranks may shift.”

— Dava West, Director of Guidance and Counseling

Spring semester GPA will be calculated using students’ first semester GPA, but ranks may still shift. According to West, this is due to the fact that rank is weighted based on the number of people in your class and if that changes from first to second semester, your rank may shift.

“There could be slight fluctuation in your class rank,” West said. “Ranks may shift.”

Awards like superintendent scholar will still continue and according to Karen Engle, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, they will use the first semester grades to calculate these awards. 

“We want to honor all that work and look forward to continuing to hold those students up high with respect to the great work that they’re completed,” Smith said.

While district operations are shut down, the free meal program continues at five locations across the district. According to Smith, the district has given out 8,000 meals to date. The district is shut down until May 4th, but the district will reevaluate on April 27 or earlier if necessary.

“This virus is bigger than you, it’s bigger than me,” Smith said. “It requires a humanitarian effort.”



  • 60% or higher= pass credit
  • 60% first semester combined with a pass for second semester=credit for the year
  • Second semester does not affect a student’s GPA or Class Rank
  • Rank could shift based on a shift in class size from first semester to second semester
  • Fall GPA will be used for spring GPA.