Pass or Fail?

With the pass/fail system, grades A-D are written as

With the pass/fail system, grades A-D are written as “pass” and lower grades are written as “fail.”

Martina Baldassi, Staff Writer

Due to COVID-19, high schools all over the world were shut down in attempts to control cases. This led to schools and districts trying to explore new ways of teaching, resulting in online distance learning.

The Sequoia High School District decided to change the grading system to pass or fail for students during the spring 2019 semester. This system was made for students who are struggling to keep up with grades due to worsening mental health or home situations. 

Gavin Plume, a senior at Menlo Atherton, spoke on the issue at hand.

“Last year, I supported the transition to a pass/fail system,” Plume said. “The continuation of letter grading would have further disadvantaged some sections of our student population.”

Some students have strong opinions on how the transition has impacted them negatively.

“We should have kept the old grading system because… my GPA took a downfall,” said Brandon Bates, a Woodside High School senior.

Other students have benefited significantly from this system.

“The pass or fail system was good for me because I was struggling with learning new materials and getting used to online school,” Bates said. “I think we should have kept it pass or fail [in the fall 2020 semester] because distance learning can be very stressful for most students.”

Plume spoke more about what the school district is doing and what he thinks of it.

“I support the re-institution of letter grading,” Plume said. “Letter grading allows students to display the subject areas where they excel and give a better indicator of students’ achievement in school.”