Message to faculty about Spring Grading Scale Options

From: “Tim O’Donnell (todonnel)” <>
Date: Friday, April 3, 2020 at 12:41 PM
To: “Tim O’Donnell (todonnel)” <>
Cc: “Rita Dunston (rdunston)” <>, “Wes Hillyard (rhill5ch)” <>
Subject: IMPORTANT: new grading option information

THIS MESSAGE IS BEING SENT TO ALL TEACHING FACULTY, ACADEMIC ADVISORS and the Emergency Operations Team. It includes 4 attachments.


This message brings additional details about the implementation of the alternate grade option for Spring 2020 (in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) that was adopted by the University Faculty Council on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Importantly, even with the new grading option, we will all need to calculate and record letter grades in our individual respective “grade books” for all students in all of our courses this semester. While many students may switch to the alternate grading scale — and you will as a result be assigning these alternate grades (CRT, P-19 or NCRT) when you post final grades in Banner — you will still need to have a record of the letter-grade that was earned should there be an appeal.

Today, we are sharing with you — in advance — the information students will receive on Monday (April 6th) about the new grading option. It will come to them via email from the Office of the Registrar and Academic Services. Later in the day, they will also receive a text further alerting them to this information. In addition to a short email message, students will be pointed to two documents:

(1)   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the alternate grade option. This document is addressed to students with the goal of providing answers to the many question that are likely to arise from an alternate grading option (Students will receive this on Monday). This FAQ will be updated as needed and will be posted at the Registrar’s website.

(2)   Instructions for changing the grade mode. This document contains step-by-step instructions for students on changing the grade mode and includes screen shots from Banner-Self-Serve (Students will receive this on Monday).

In addition, we have had requests for two additional documents which are only being sent to all teaching faculty/advisors:

(1)   Sample message to advisees. Some have asked for a sample message that advisors could send to advisees. Such a sample, which you are free to modify, is attached.

(2)   Scenarios for advisors. While the FAQ answers most questions, this document is for advisors and provides some scenarios that you might encounter when advising students.

In addition to this information, Academic Services will be hosting several virtual meetings in the coming days for students about the alternate grade option. Dates and times are included in the “sample message to advisees.”

Finally, implementation of this alternate grade option involved the efforts of many hands (including many of you who made suggestions and/or asked excellent questions). We are especially thankful for the efforts of the teams in the Office of the Registrar, Academic Services, and Enterprise Application Services.

Please let us know if you have any questions.



Timothy M. O’Donnell
Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Success
University of Mary Washington