Written By: D’ereka Sawyer, junior and Racquell Schramski, sophomore
The honor and recognition of standing in front of your entire class, being awarded valedictorian is quite a stellar accomplishment. It signifies four yearsof rigorous academic studies, packed with late night study sessions when your peers were off socializing or relaxing. In the end, though, it is all worthIt gave you the extra edge to get into a good college and possibly even some scholarship money. But what if you had to share that title and award with nine other students?
Recently, HHS principal Peter Lofiego requested the school board to pass a resolution where HHS students GPA would now be weighed. A weightedGPA takes into account AP classes when calculating a student’s GPA, therefore giving more credit for these college level courses. With this new policy, the perfect GPA would no longer be a 4.0, but a 5.0.
The school board passed the resolution. Even though it has not been established when this change will be in full effect, the current sophomore class is likely to be the first graduating class with weighted GPAs. Currently, counselors are providing two GPAs for students, one weighted and one non-weighted.Student opinions have varied from both ends of the spectrum, but the majority seems to be in favor of the new policy. Sophomore Clara Huggins, who supports the policy, said, “I am very pleased that weighted GPAs are now being used. People should not be able to have the same GPA for doing well in normal classes as for doing well in AP classes, seeing as AP classes take considerably more work and effort.”
Many students like the idea of rewarding students for taking college level classes in high school. Senior Rylea Kivari echoed this sentiment, “I am very excited. It’s about time students who are willing to take more challenging classes are recognized for their dedication to furthering their education. Students shouldn’t be penalized for taking advanced classes.” Kivari is referring to the fact that many scholarship opportunities require a weighted GPA in order for students to be considered. Given HHS did not offer weighted GPAs in the past, many students were being overlooked for scholarships.
Although the policy seems like a good idea initially, some were quick to point out the disadvantages to this plan. Some students believe implementing a weighted GPA system into our school at this point would be rather unfair or pointless. Junior Isabella Motzny, who is against the new policy, said, “I think it is unfair to those of us who have kept a 4.0 and spent our time being apart of many other things such as sports, band, student council, etc instead of loading ourselves down with AP classes. To me, having a well rounded education is better than taking all AP classes, and I believe that weighted GPAs merely point out that the valedictorian just took more AP classes than everyone else.”
Students are also upset with the timing of the policy. Some believe if they would have known this, they would have included more AP classes in their four year plan. Another student, junior Jessica Lemond, is still undecided on the topic as she sees both the negatives and positives. Lemond said, “I think the switch to weighted GPAs is really exciting for AP students. AP classes, in theory, are supposed to have the same expectations and level of difficulty of college classes, and by incorporating this GPA curve, the school is acknowledging the fact that these are more than a high school level class. A student’s choice to challenge themselves and their ability to take on a class that is higher than their grade level should reflect in their GPA. Unfortunately, I can also see the negative in this change, as it creates more competition among students. Now, for some who strive to have a perfect performance in high school, it’s about more than just getting A’s in all their classes; it’s about getting A’s in all of the hardest classes.”
Even though the plan has caused a little controversy and will not be implemented until next year, this year’s freshman, sophomores, and juniors will undoubtedly be effected in either a positive or maybe negative way in the next academic year. This definitely gives the students of Holly High School something to deliberate.