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Final Course and Student Grade Changes

Having transparent guidelines for adjusting final course grades is crucial, as it should be a rare occurrence. Albuquerque Public Schools strives to instill confidence in grading, ensuring a fair and transparent system for evaluating academic progress with integrity and in a manner that precisely reflects student accomplishment.

APS believes that a student's final course grade should reflect their hard work and dedication throughout the semester. Changes in grades should be the exception rather than the norm.

A. Statewide Tests/Graduation Assessments

Test results on any statewide/standardized test used to determine graduation from high school may only be changed if a grade change is necessary due to a clear clerical mistake, such as when a student is misidentified. In such circumstances, the Superintendent or designee will promptly notify the assessment and accountability division of the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) for guidance.

B. Final Course Grade Change

  1. If a parent, legal guardian of a student, or a student of legal age (“Requestor”) disputes the accuracy of a final course grade, the Requestor must submit a written request for the final course grade ( “course grade”) change, with supporting documentation, in substantially the same form as the school provides. Unless the student is still enrolled in the school district at the time of the course grade change request, the request must be made within 15 calendar days after the student has exited the school. Requests for final course grade changes of students who are currently enrolled should be made no later than two weeks after final course grade reports for that semester have been delivered.
  2. No final course grade change will be considered for any prior school year unless the school determines that a mathematical error or misidentification of a student has resulted in a failing grade and, but for that error, the student would have received a passing grade.
  3. Not later than five school days after receipt of the request, the principal of the student’s school or the principal’s designee will respond in writing to the request. The response should state whether the request is denied or allowed and, if allowed, what new grade will be entered. Any grade change must be based on articulated reasons in the response, such as extenuating circumstances, additional graded work submitted by the student, additional or make-up testing, or any other meaningful criteria that can be verified.
  4. During the investigation period following receipt of a course grade change request, the principal, or appropriate designee, will make a good faith attempt to obtain written input from the teacher who issued the grade in dispute. The teacher should state reasons to support or oppose the requested grade change and provide any documentation to support the teacher’s reasons.
  5. During the investigation, the course grade, as originally entered, will remain effective for determining a student’s eligibility for participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities or other school-sponsored activities requiring a minimum grade point. .
  6. No person will pressure or retaliate against the teacher for making a certain recommendation.
  7. The principal or designee will be responsible for reviewing the request, approving and signing the final written response to any grade change request, and ensuring that this procedure was followed.
  8. The parent/guardian may appeal the school’s decision to the appropriate district office designee.
  9. Final course grade change documents will be maintained in a file with transcripts for 99 years.

C. Test Grade or Assignment Grade Change

  1. A Requester will first submit a written request for a grade change to the teacher giving the test or assignment grade. The request will specify the factual grounds for the request. Any request for a change to a test or assignment grade must be made within five school days following receipt of that grade.
  2. The teacher will respond to the request in writing no later than five school days following the request. A student not of legal age must have their parent or legal guardian sign the teacher’s written response acknowledging receipt.
  3. A Requester who disputes the teacher’s decision on the tester assignment may appeal to the principal by submitting a written request for review within three school days of the teacher’s decision. The principal will review the teacher’s decision and underlying documentation and render a written decision within five school days. The principal’s decision will be final and not subject to review.
  4. Pending a final decision, the test or assignment grade, as originally entered, will remain effective for determining a student’s eligibility for participation in co- and extracurricular activities or other school-sponsored activities requiring a minimum grade point.

APS is committed to ensuring fairness and accuracy in all academic assessments and acknowledges that statewide tests are critical in establishing and monitoring long-term goals.. Any alterations to test results are strictly prohibited to maintain the integrity of these tests. However, in the rare event of an apparent clerical error, such as a student being misidentified, school personnel must promptly notify the assessment and accountability division of the district.

D. General Provisions

  1. Any course grade change must be available to all students who are similarly situated.
  2. The school will strictly adhere to all requirements under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). Furthermore, nothing stated herein will in any way limit or eliminate the rights afforded to parents under federal regulations 34 CFR Sections 300.618 through 300.621 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and 34 CFR Sections 99.20 through 99.22 under FERPA, both as they relate to the amendment of a student’s educational records.
  3. These procedures may be modified in cases where a student's grades have been impacted because of discrimination or failure to accommodate in violation of the APS Non-Discrimination Policy.

F. Unprofessional Conduct

While APS does allow for changes to a student's final course grade, APS employees must not:

  1. Permit the changing of a student’s final course grade contrary to the district procedural directive for course grade changes
  2. Knowingly withhold material information when asked whether a student’s grade should or should not be changed; or
  3. Provide a written recommendation for, or make a final written response allowing, a final course grade change knowing that a grade change under the circumstances is not warranted or that there has been a material non-compliance with the district’s or charter school’s grade change policy.

Administrative Position:

  • Chief Academic Officer, Chief of Schools

Department Director:

  • Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction

 

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §22-2-1 NMSA 1978
  • §22-2-2 NMSA 1978
  • §22-13-1.1 NMSA 1978
  • 6.30.10.3 NMAC - N, 7-16-08
  • FERPA
  • IDEA
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments Act

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JICJ

Introduced: April 15, 2024
Adopted: April 15, 2024