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CUMBERLAND CO. BOARD OF EDUCATION TO CONSIDER RESOLUTION FOR EMERGENCY SUSPENSION OF CERTAIN BOARD POLICIES FOR COVID-19

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The Cumberland County Board of Education will meet tomorrow night at 6 p.m. electronically. This meeting could answer several questions parents have regarding graduation requirements, students progressing in grades, and class rankings.

The board will consider a “COVID-19 Resolution for Emergency Suspension of Board Policies” in their meeting.

Here is the resolution in its entirety:

COVID19 Resolution for Emergency Suspension of Board Policies

1) Policy 4.600 – Grading System

  1. a) Students in grades K-8 and students taking courses for high school credit shall receive no grade lower than the grade they earned in the course as of March 20, 2020. Dual enrollment students are enrolled in a college course and are still expected to complete their assignments. Their grade may be lower for the Dual Enrollment grade in the class if they do not complete their work.
  1. b) Additionally, students taking post-secondary courses (statewide dual credit, AP, and industry certification courses) are not required to participate in the associated exam in order to receive GPA weighting for Spring 2020. However, dual enrollment students are enrolled in a college course and are still expected to complete their assignments and exams.

2) Policy 4.601 – Reporting Student Progress

  1. a) Waives the statement, “parents shall be notified by the teacher by the end of the third grading period if the retention of a student is being considered,” as this was not possible given the COVID19 closure.

3) Policy 4.602 – Class Ranking

  1. a) Students taking post-secondary courses (statewide dual credit, AP, and industry certification courses) are not required to participate in the associated exam in order to receive GPA weighting for Spring 2020. Dual enrollment students are enrolled in a college course and are still expected to complete their assignments and exams.

4) Policy 4.603 – Elementary Promotion and Retention

  1. a) Due to the COVID19 closure, the statement, “For the purpose of determining the effectiveness of retention toward improving student achievement, the progress of retained students shall be closely monitored and reported to parent(s)/guardian(s) at least three (3) times during the school year in which the student is retained,” should be modified to “at least two (2) times during the school year in which the student is retained.

5) Policy 4.605 – Graduation Requirements

  1. a) For the class of 2020, graduation requirements are modified as follows:
  2. i) Only 20 credits are required to graduate per State Board Education Rule 0520-01-03-.11 Given that the State Board of Education reduced the minimum number of credits to graduate by 2 credits (Rule 0520-01-03-.11), the Cumberland County Schools will also reduce the number of credits to graduate by 2 credits for the 2019-2020 school year. Therefore, Cumberland County High School 2019-2020 graduates and Stone Memorial High School 2019-2020 graduates will need 25 credits to graduate. Phoenix High School and all high school special education students will need the state required 20 credits to graduate in 2019-2020.
  1. ii) All 2019-2020 graduates must have at least the following:

(1) Four (4) credits of mathematics as described in the State Board’s High School Policy 2.103;2.

(2) Four (4) credits of English language arts as described in the State Board’s High School Policy 2.103;3.

(3) Three (3) credits of science as described in the State Board’s High School Policy 2.103; and 4.

(4) Two (2) credits of social studies as described in the State Board’s High School Policy 2.103.

iii) The requirements for the following are waived:

(1) ACT/SAT

(2) Civics exam

(3) EOC exams

  1. iv) Students scheduled to receive an occupational diploma in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year shall only be required to demonstrate one year of work experience.

6) Policy 4.700 – Testing Programs

  1. a) Students shall not be required to take TCAP exams for the spring 2020 semester. Students who took a 2019 Fall EOC will have that EOC score removed from their final average calculation if that EOC score lowers their final grade average. If the score improves the final grade average, that EOC score will remain in the calculation.

7) Policy 5.109 – Evaluation

  1. a) Level of overall effectiveness scores shall not be generated for educators in the 2019-2020 school year.
  1. b) Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers shall not be evaluated using the growth portfolio model for the 2019-2020 school year.
  1. c) Any observations required by State Board of Education Policy 5.201 that were not completed during the 2019-2020 school year as a result of COVID-19 are not required.
  1. d) No student data from this year shall be allowed to negatively impact a teacher.
  2. e) Non-certified staff will not be evaluated for the 2019-2020 school year.

8) Policy 5.117 – Procedure for Granting Tenure

  1. a) Tenure decisions will be made assuming the teacher would have been able to complete their 5th year if they were in current service as of March 16, 2020, and will use the last two years of evaluation data (2017-2018 and 2018-2019) to demonstrate an overall performance effectiveness level of “above expectations” or “significantly above expectations.”
  1. b) Documentation of strongly favorable student response may be waived if that task was not completed prior to March 16, 2020.

9) Policy 5.802 – Qualifications and Duties of the Director of Schools

  1. a) The Director of Schools may request an extension from the State Board of Education to report information that would impact educator licensure (e.g. alleged employee misconduct, discipline of employees for actions that violate the teacher code of ethics, etc.).

10) Policy 6.200 – Attendance

  1. a) Students will not be required to take End of Course exams in the Spring of 2020.
  2. b) Students may not be penalized for non-attendance of online courses.
  3. c) Non-attendance of online courses shall not count as unexcused absences and shall not be recorded. Further, students shall not be counted truant for failure to attend online courses.

Since Tennessee Governor Bill Lee will not extend the Stay at Home order for the coronavirus past April 30, It is not known at this time if the Cumberland County Board of Education will announce a graduation date for the senior class of 2020. It is possible a date could be revealed in their meeting tomorrow night.

Pre-K registration for the upcoming school year (2020-2021) will be announced soon in Cumberland County.

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