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Dear Students and Parents,

Pass/fail grades have historically been available to Uni students in crisis, and we support the continued availability of that option for individual students who believe they will benefit from it. Given the extraordinary circumstances of this school year, and the added pressures and stresses that the COVID-19 pandemic and remote learning place on students, we would like to make it easier for any interested Uni student to take advantage of the benefits of taking one or more of their classes on a pass/fail basis.

In consultation with the curriculum committee, the SSO, and the UFO (Uni Faculty Organization) executive officers, the administration is expanding options for students to take Uni courses pass/fail (P/F) for the fall and spring semester for the 2020-2021 school year. There is no maximum or minimum number of P/F courses you can take per semester. However, once you make a decision that decision is final. 

You have until Wednesday, November 4th, to contact your school counselor on your plans for the fall semester. You can also decide before that date to ease your workload. If you are not changing any classes from traditional letter grades to P/F then you do not need to contact your school counselor. If you are planning to switch a grade to P/F, please send an e-mail* to:

  1. Your School Counselor (Kristi Deedrick A-K; Amy Han L-Z)
  2. Include a parent for confirmation (cc: parent in your email) 
  3. Include the teacher for each class you plan to switch to P/F (cc: teacher in your email)
  4. State the 1st-semester class you would like to switch from a letter grade to P/F

We recommend a separate e-mail for each class you plan to switch from grade to P/F. Note: The deadline for the P/F option for second-semester classes will be announced in future communication.

You do not have to provide a reason for your decision. We assume you have discussed that with your parent. Teachers can set specific minimum requirements to pass their class (for example, “Completion of all four major assignments is a baseline for passing this class”). Note: First quarter grades are not due from teachers until October 27, however, some teachers may post them earlier in PowerSchool.

The SSO is hosting open Zoom meetings on the following two Friday afternoons to answer questions about your individual choices and the potential impact of P/F grades on college admissions. (Lisa Micele, Uni’s Director of College Counseling, will be available to talk with you. These virtual meetings are open to both students and parents. Watch for zoom links closer to the dates.)

Q&A - Open Zoom Meetings with the SSO:

  • Friday, Oct 23:  2:45 to 3:15 pm
  • Friday, Oct 30:   3:30 – 4:00 pm

If you feel you need to talk to someone about your personal health and wellness as it relates to your academics at Uni, please reach out to your school counselor.  Ms. Deedrick (A-K) and Ms. Amy (L-Z)


Dr. Majerus and Dr. Radnitzer

* Your e-mail could include the following sample language:  “I plan to switch X class for fall semester 2020 from a letter grade to P/F.”

From Lisa Micele (Re: discussion with UIUC admission office regarding foreign languages): 

“For U of I, while 4 years of a foreign language are NOT required for admissions, a 4-year sequence of the same language can automatically allow students to “place out” of any required foreign language classes within their major on campus.  If a Uni student opted into a Pass/Fail for years 3 and 4 of their language, while it will not impact admissions, it could require the completion of a proficiency test on campus.  

Back in March, the pandemic showed the full use of “Passing grades” by Illinois high schools, UIUC admissions are also readying themselves to potentially see an increase in the use of P/F – as high schools are re-imagining their pedagogies and grading policies. UIUC admissions will accept and work with any grading policies determined by a high school but the academic UIUC department the student seeks to study in CAN determine their placement or proficiency tests as well.

This is UIUC feedback.  Other 4-year colleges may require 4 years of Foreign Language for admission. Every college can set their HS sequence requirements for admissions.”

Traditional Grades and GPA Guidelines

All courses (except P.E. and select Independent Study Courses) are assigned letter grades based on achieved percentage points that generally fall within these breaks:

A (4) 90 - 100 % B (3) 80 - 89 C (2) 70 - 79 D (1) 60 - 69 F (0) below 60

Grade Point Averages:

  • Grade point averages each semester are calculated on a 4-point scale (A=4, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1, F = 0).
  • Only academic courses are used to compute the GPA. Courses excluded from the GPA calculation are: P.E. and Driver's Education.
  • The GPA shown on the student transcript includes only work completed at University Laboratory High School.
  • Pluses and minuses are not included in the GPA.
  • No summer school work or college courses concurrently taken at the University of Illinois or Parkland College are included in the GPA calculation.
  • The GPA is calculated using the final course grade. If a course is repeated, both final grades are reported on the transcript, but only the repeated course grade is included in the GPA calculation.
  • As a general rule, only courses completed in grades 9-12 at University Laboratory High School are included in the GPA. Subfreshman classes at Uni High, with the exception of math and foreign language courses, are not included in the GPA calculation.

Class Rank: Due to our selective admissions practices, University Laboratory High School does not rank students numerically.