Plymouth High School will change from a 12.0-point grading scale to a 4.0 as they determine GPAs (grade point averages) beginning with the class of 2018. According to Jim Condon, PHS principal, most colleges and universities convert the scores of PHS graduates to the 4.0-point scale. Condon said, “It is a more accurate reflection of our student’s academic performance as they apply to colleges and for potential scholarships.”
The school faculty first made the proposal to administrators.
Administrators then began the process of getting input from the school’s Guidance Department to identify the top performing high schools in Indiana and those colleges and universities that are commonly chosen by graduates to further their education. Discussions continued with department chairs, student government representatives, and a “topic-focused” staff committee.
According to Condon, there was unanimous support from the entire department chairs.
In determining GPAs, the school uses a standard scale and a weighted scale, determined from the most rigorous courses offered. Condon explained that beginning with the class of 2018, weighted courses will be reserved for advanced placement and dual credit classes. Honors classes will no longer be included in determining weighted scores. According to Condon, PHS offers 35 courses for high school /college credits.
Currently students are ranked by exact scales. Beginning with the class of freshman entering school in the 2014-2015 school year, percentile ranking will be used. Condon said, “Exact ranking serves as an obstacle because kids are often not taking the rigorous courses they need for college. Condon explained that they contact PHS graduates for feedback. He said many former PHS students say they should have taken courses that are more rigorous, but had been concerned about their GPAs.
Condon said that transcripts sent to colleges, no matter which ranking system is in place, would contain the exact ranking.
According to Condon, the new percentile ranking system could mean multiple valedictorians and/or salutatorians.
Carol Anders Correspondent