The highlight of last Tuesday’s Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees meeting was a discussion of proposed changes to the district’s GPA policy. The discussion was tabled until the board’s curriculum and instruction training session, which begins at noon tomorrow. But the board has called a meeting for 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, when they will presumably vote on the changes.
Here’s a quick(ish) summary of the proposed changes:
1. Juniors and seniors who have completed their P.E. requirements for graduation will be able to take additional athletics or dance (read: Highland Belles) courses on a pass/fail basis, if they declare their intent to take the course on that basis on the first day of the semester. Students could do this for only two courses, and only one per year. Why would a student want to do this? Well, I’m told there are academically gifted athletes and Belles whose schedules are filled with classes that are graded on the 4.5 and 5.0 scales. Getting perfect scores in P.E. classes, which are graded on the 4.0 scale, actually lowers their GPAs.
2. Currently, seniors can take performing arts, journalism, and Academic Decathlon courses on the 4.5 scale. The proposal would add debate to that list, and it would extend the program from the senior year to the junior year.
There are at least a couple of parents who want these changes to retroactively affect the seniors who will graduate this Friday night. Principal Walter Kelly is against that, and trustee Sam Dalton asked him why. I’m paraphrasing here, but Kelly basically said that the graduating seniors knew what the policy was when they signed up for their courses over the last four years.