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Pinellas County Schools considers new policy to encourage good grades and class attendance

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Learning loss has become a major issue in the wake of the pandemic, and now the Pinellas County School District is working to motivate students to stay in school and get good grades.

The district is discussing a new policy that would let students skip certain final exams if they keep an A, B, or C average during the prior two quarters.

Kelsey Frease-Moore, who has a student at Pinellas County Schools, said rewarding students for their grades is important.

“Even if it’s just a certificate, acknowledging that they’ve done well, incentives are super important, especially as they get older and they need that extra push and goals set…If he didn’t have to take the big test at the end of the year, it would be something he could brag about. That would be his incentive,” said Frease-Moore.

Before, the policy allowed students to skip exams if they earned an A or B in that class, but now that policy could be expanded.

“Even if he had to be there, he would be able to go have fun and go do fun activities as opposed to taking a test,” said Frease-Moore.

District leaders said the new policy is aimed at encouraging students to make better grades and get them in the classroom more often.

Another requirement of the policy is that students can only opt out of an exam if they miss fewer than five days of that specific class.

“I think ever since COVID-19, it’s been really hard for kids to get back to school and learn and not being online and not doing nothing, so I think it’s a good idea,” said Sophia Bliss, a student.

Bliss is a Junior at Largo High School and thinks the policy will help students in the long run.

“Because you’re about to go to college, and these are the grades that they are going to be looking at,” said Bliss.

The district is still considering the new policy. If approved, it will go into effect this fall.

“It would be an incentive to do well,” said Frease-Moore.

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