A new education bill signed into law by California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom on July 1 allows all high school students in the state to change grades received during the 2020-21 school year to pass/no pass grades due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill took effect immediately, as "urgency legislation."
The Department of Education has already posted an application for grade changes on its website. According to EdSource, "Under the new law, [students] will have only 15 calendar days after a district posts the request form to send it to their district. After that, it will be too late."
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "Shifting a letter grade to pass/fail means what would have been a D or F, for example, won’t be included in the calculation of a grade point average — a critical part of a college application. There are no restrictions on how many course grades or which courses can be changed."
Bay Area schools have already begun sharing information about the statewide changes. Berkeley High School posted to its website. "One provision allows students enrolled in a Berkeley High School course during the 2020-21 school year to select to replace a letter grade with a Pass or No Pass designation with no negative impact on their GPA."
However, there are indications that not all schools will accept the changes. According to the Piedmont Exedra, a letter sent to families of some other districts including Albany High School cautions that postsecondary institutions in the state and outside of California, may not accept pass/no pass grades on transcripts for admission.