BOE discusses adjusting high school grade point averages

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Chilton County Board of Education on Tuesday opened a recommendation for public discussion for 30 days regarding the weighted adjustment of grade point averages for high school students enrolled in advanced courses.

Chilton County students have difficulty competing against students from other schools with weighted GPAs, said Pamela Harris, AYP and system test coordinator.

“It’s not reflecting the coursework they are doing,” Harris said. “We want to do this for our students.”

Students at the greatest disadvantage are those in AP, dual enrollment and other advanced courses because non-weighted GPAs only measure performance, whereas weighted GPAs also factor in the difficulty of the courses.

Currently, Chilton County students can earn a maximum, non-weighted GPA of 4.0, regardless of course difficulty.

The unfairness sets in when students in other counties can earn 5.0 weighted GPAs, which may look better to college enrollment and scholarship committees.

Board Member Chris Davis suggested the board make the adjustment “retro-active” for students in grades 10-12, meaning the schools would change the students’ old GPAs based on the new scale.

Davis said instead of schools changing their GPA scales, selection committees should take differences in weighted and non-weighted GPAs into consideration.

“It’s not a board policy that we’re on a four-point (scale),” Davis said.

Superintendent Dave Hayden disagreed and said the new GPA scale should begin with this year’s ninth-graders.

“It’s going to affect a lot of things these kids weren’t counting on,” Hayden said. “I believe we should start it in the ninth grade and take it forward.”

The board also noted the two nurses laid off at the end of the school year have accepted the board’s offer of their original positions.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved monthly financial statements.
  • Approved substitute employee list.
  • Approved recommendation to approve leave request for Mary Beth Easterling.
  • Accepted resignation for Christy Christofides, Donna Williams Fuller, Rusty Parker and Gail Williams.
  • Approved school/shop requests for Jemison High, Thorsby and Verbena.
  • Approved paying SSA System membership dues in the amount of $9,200.
  • Approved employees on emergency basis for Jemison High, Isabella, Maplesville and Verbena (grades K-12).
  • Approved two class-size reduction units for Maplesville.
  • Approved posting vacancies.
  • Rescinded motion awarding welding supply bid to Montgomery Industrial Supply and awarded bid to Airgas South – Selma.
  • Approved payroll deduction for TBG Fraud Solutions.