State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announces New Guidance on Grading and Graduation for Seniors


SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced today that the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) have issued new guidance on graduation requirements and grading for seniors. The guidance is based on feedback from local education agencies, and was produced in collaboration and alignment with higher education institutions.

“We are thinking of our seniors and the impact that the current COVID-19 public health emergency and subsequent physical closure of schools has had on them, and we hope that this guidance will help relieve some stress and anxiety,” said Thurmond. “We are doing everything we can to support all our schools and students, and will continue to address seniors’ needs going forward.”

“All seniors who are on track for graduation should be able to graduate,” said State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond. “This new guidance further illustrates how students can and should be held harmless in grading, and how their work can be acknowledged.”

The guidance addresses A-G requirements and provides admissions updates for higher education for both current seniors and juniors.

For example, colleges have agreed to accept credit/no-credit or pass/fail grading where districts have decided to use it for A-G courses and other courses without impact on grade point averages. California is also extending flexibility on a wide range of issues, including testing requirements, timing of transcripts, and considerations about financial aid.

The CDE continues working with the University of California, California State University, community college system, and private and non-profit universities on solutions to many ongoing college admissions challenges.

Please find the grades and graduation guidance document as well as more school information and resources regarding coronavirus on the CDE’s COVID-19 web page.


The California Department of Education is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s website. You may also follow Superintendent Thurmond onTwitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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