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Citing pandemic hardships, Los Angeles school officials on Monday deferred any failing grades from this semester until at least Jan. 29, giving students additional time to avoid receiving an F in their classes.

The move is the latest effort by the nation’s second-largest school district to avoid penalizing students under strain during a public health and social crisis that continues to upend their education and worsen family hardships. Most district students are from low-income Latino and Black neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of a dangerous recent surge in coronavirus infections.

The move extends a modified version of the district’s “no fail” policy of the spring semester, when campuses first shut down at the onset of the coronavirus emergency.

The new policy grew out of district concerns about the dramatic rise in D and F grades, a pattern that is mirrored across the country in school systems that have closed campuses and relied on distance-only learning. Among the problems faced by students is inconsistent or inadequate internet access and a poor learning environment at home.

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