Next year, all of the honors classes offered at the school will be weighted. This change includes all of the freshman and sophomore level honors classes, such as Spanish II Honors and World Literature Honors, which have previously not been weighted by the grading system. According to Assistant Principal Morenike O’Neal, the change was made because after years of trying to “align [grading standards] with the UCs, the decision was to take action that would best benefit the students.”
The grade changes will be effective sometime before the end of first semester next year and will affect grades from honors classes taken before the change was made as well.
However, this years’ seniors will not be able to benefit from this change.
“Well, I am a little disappointed that this was not around when I was a freshman and sophomore,” senior Pedro Parodi said. “And I am a little ambivalent about it being put into place. It is going to give people more incentive to put themselves into honors class they may not be ready for.”
Despite some concerns, many seniors are accepting the change.
“Knowing that their classes don’t pull as much weight as the ones freshmen will get next year [may annoy some], but if something is going to change than there is always someone [who has to face it],” senior Andrew Willard said.
However, in reality these changes don’t have much effect on the way they are seen by colleges. Colleges have their own systems of weighting and reweight high school GPAs in order to fit their own standards, which currently don’t weigh freshman and sophomore-level honors classes.
“It gives the students a false sense of security,” counselor Lora Hunter said. “But it is beneficial because it looks like our students get better GPAs than other competition in the state.”
Hunter says that she doesn’t believe the change has really impacted enrollment for classes because it only affects “a [small] detail of the transcript,” but she believes the change does have its academic merits.
The changes are supported by the Counseling Department, the District Associate Superintendent of Education and the administration, who all believe that “in the long run it will help students see where they stand compared to others.’
However, the administration is not certain how the changes will affect class rankings.
Many students don’t really think too much of the changes.
“I would take the classes I want,” freshman Cynthia Wang said. “I wouldn’t take different classes just to get a slightly higher GPA.”
Many students are also eager to gain the recognition they feel they deserve by taking these challenging classes.
“Students who put in all the extra work deserve to be rewarded,” freshman Miranda Adams said. “I took Geometry Honors this year, and I think they should have been weighted. I got lowest grade in those two classes, and I worked way harder in them than my other classes.”