GPA Policy May Change While You’re at Work

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.

18 thoughts on “GPA Policy May Change While You’re at Work

  • May 21, 2012 at 10:16 am
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    “They knew the policy was unfair when they signed up; and now that we have acknowledged there is an issue and are fixing it they should have been a year younger.”

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  • May 21, 2012 at 10:39 am
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    Why was the Class Rank reporting corrected immediately? ‘Those students knew what those policies were when they signed-up over four years.’
    It was changed immediately because it was the right thing to do.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 10:41 am
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    Regarding current juniors,would they be able to take advantage of this new policy for this year with one athletics course as well as one course senior year? Or is it too late

    It’s my understanding that the policy of counting athletics all four years in GPA began with current junior class, not the seniors.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 11:51 am
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    It’s terrific that smart kids will no longer have to choose between ranking highly in the class or serving the community by playing a sport.
    But I hugely do not get why it is limited to one season per year and two total.
    The thinking is: if you are really athletic, then you must be penalized for that but if you are only good at one sport, then your gpa won’t be hurt by participation? The policy still punishes smart kids who elect to play sports.
    If the policy makes sense, then it makes sense year-round; if it doesn’t make sense, then it doesn’t make sense for all four upperclass semesters.
    It’s not like kids who get high grades but who want to play sports but not get graded on it are getting away with something.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm
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    No student at HPHS should suffer loss of GPA points due to his or her Extracurricular courses – I don’t care whether those courses are athletics, Belles, journalism, choir, band, orchestra, media, business education etc. Excellent Extracurricular course grades should only help a student’s GPA.

    Why don’t we have a system like Coppell? Their ECs are IN when they raise the GPA and OUT when they don’t.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm
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    District Mom, that is the best idea in my mind. Calculate it both ways for those electives, and take the higher number. Win Win Win.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm
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    And make it for all four years!

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  • May 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm
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    @Parkie – absolutely! My daughter’s first semester GPA with a sport and two fine arts was 4.143. Without the three 4.0s it would have been higher from the start.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm
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    Perhaps a better approach is would be to figure GPA only on core/required courses and leave all extra-curricular classes out of the calculation. That way nobody is penalized for taking extra-curricular classes and there is a somewhat level playing field. However, I would leave extra .5 grade point in for AP classes since they cover harder material.
    As some of you may recall, especially if you had students who graduated prior to 2007, a large number of students took all of their non-core classes (including PE) via correspondence or pass/fail in summer school so that only their AP level classes were used to calculate GPA. This ensured them that any class without an AP designation did not lower their GPA, even if they made a 100.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm
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    @Cynthia – “serving the community by playing a sport.” Are you serious??!! What the . . . .

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  • May 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm
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    @Dixie Do you understand what keeps property values high in UP and HP? Go to 4A Standings on the Lone Star Cup page:
    uiltexas.org/lone-star-cup
    Every UIL sports team is serving the community, as are the UIL Academic Teams and the music program participants, who give free concerts open to the public.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm
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    As my oldest is only 3, I’m a bit perplexed on something. If someone plays a sport, there is a grade involved? Does this mean that a baseball player has practice during classtime and it is an actual class? That doesn’t sound “extra-curricular” to me (by definition).

    I know that way back in the 80s at my high school, there were some activities that did have a class associated with them, such as the dance team and some choirs and band I think, but I’ve never heard of sports counting toward your GPA. How are players graded? Is it basically showing up and working hard in practice, or is it based on your performance in games, or what? These are not facetious questions, they’re just from someone out of the high school environment for the past 30 years.

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  • May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm
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    @ of course they are: Think the “almost” private school we have in the area and “location, location, location” is what keeps the property values high. If it is the 4A sports and band standings, we are as warped as everyone says we are. Unless you have a kid participating, I don’t think most of us would cross the street for the free concerts.

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  • May 22, 2012 at 6:49 am
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    What makes HPHS an “almost” private school?

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  • May 22, 2012 at 7:34 am
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    UP Dad, my child’s sport replaced a class period. She received a 100 every six weeks probably just for showing up everyday for practices and tournaments. No midterm or final exams.

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  • May 22, 2012 at 9:01 am
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    If Parkie’s daughter is Class of 2012, that 4.0 doesn’t count in her GPA. If she is 2013 or later, it does. She could have taken a 5.0 in that class period instead.

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  • May 22, 2012 at 9:45 am
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    Athletics is a class, either the 1st or last of the day so that morning practices end during 1st period with enuf time for showers and breakfast and afternoon practices start before school is out. Even in offseason athletic training occurs during those periods. I think you get a 100 regardless of whether or not you even show up. Band also gives everyone a 100.

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  • June 12, 2012 at 11:28 am
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    See Park Cities Blog yesterday:
    GPA Vote May Be Delayed Again

    We’ve been following talk within HPISD about a possible change to the current GPA policy — one that could include a pass/fail option for junior and senior athletics, drill team, and cheerleading classes (Here’s a link to another blog post with more context).

    At last month’s called meeting, trustees opted to shelve the issue until this month’s regular one. That meeting is tomorrow, and though there’s a note about localized class-rank policy, GPA changes don’t seem to be on the agenda.

    Read more: GPA Vote May Be Delayed Again | Park Cities People http://www.parkcitiespeople.com/2012/06/11/gpa-vote-may-be-delayed-again/#ixzz1xb4ni9rX

    However, in the HPISD agenda from the May 15th meeting, they called this issue the same thing:
    a.EIC(LOCAL): ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT – CLASS RANKING

    So seems as if it most likely will be discussed at this afternoon’s meeting.

    Reply

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