High School Proposes Changes in Grading for New Freshmen

After a series of debates and input from teachers, guidance counselors, and administrators, Londonderry High School is looking to change the weighted GPA system for the incoming freshmen class of 2022, lowering it to 4.5 from the current 5.0.

At LHS, there is a weighted GPA system in place for students who challenge themselves by taking honors and AP classes. Currently, the weighted GPA is used to determine class rank of the top 10 students by their weighted GPA during their four years at LHS. The weighted GPA is also used for when students apply for scholarships.

LHS social studies teacher, Jim Choquette, presented to the school board how this change to the weighted GPA will help students overall. At the current weighted GPA, a student with a 4.63 GPA leaves LHS with a 92.6 or an A-. This is because the GPA is divided by 5.0 scale. If the scale was changed, however, a student with a 4.31 GPA would leave LHS with 95.7, a solid A. “By changing the way we weight, we better represent how students achieve at Londonderry High School. We better represent what a student is capable of doing and what we report out to the world is more accurate than using the 5.0 scale,” Choquette said.

A vote was taken by the teachers at LHS, and they were in support of the changes to the weighted grading system. A student earning a 4.5 is more mathematically attainable than a 5.0, which is impossible for a student to earn. LHS Principal Jason Parent made it clear that no student is at a disadvantage with either scale, but the adjustment to the scale provides a clearer profile.

For the proposal, the class of 2022 would have a weighted GPA of 4.5 and an un-weighted GPA of 4.0. Changing the system for students already in high school would cause mathematical problems. The hope is also for students to allow some diversity in their schedules so they are not just taking AP and honors classes for a higher GPA.

The only issue from the board about the proposal was that it decreases the inflation that comes from honors and AP classes, essentially decreasing the reward students get for challenging themselves by taking more challenging courses. Parent acknowledged this issue and told the board that LHS wants students to participate in these upper classes for the right reasons and not have a GPA necessarily drive the decisions they make.

At the end of the meeting, the school board gave their consent to continue on with this proposal for the incoming freshmen of 2022 with the hope that this will benefit both students and their college dreams going forward.

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