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Hard work can mean higher GPA at LOHS



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January 30, 2013 - Hard working Orion students are to receive more recognition for their work with the potential for higher grade point averages.

Assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction, and assessment Heidi Kast informed the Lake Orion board of education at their Jan. 23 meeting.

Whereas 4.0 was the highest GPA a LOHS student could previously earn, thanks to a new weighted approach, students completing AP or honors courses will receive more credit, with a possibility of earning up to a 5.0.

Kast said the new grade weighting would be implemented right away. "It's only fair that students currently in the high school take advantage of this immediately."

Orion students are at a disadvantage for scholarships and university consideration because the harder classes are not weighted at LOHS. Many high schools, however, offer a weighted GPA. Their students appear to have a better academic record than do LOHS students taking the same courses.

The move to give more credit for harder classes is a good one, Kast reasoned, since our students are passed over by admission committees and scholarship review boards because of less competitive grade point averages. The new GPA calculation aims to place Orion students on an even playing field.

She said many of the surrounding districts already provide this advantage for their students. For instance, Oxford High school uses a weighted GPA, as do the districts of Troy, Walled Lake, Waterford, and West Bloomfield, for example. Kast expects Clarkston to adopt the weighted GPA next year.

While some students might have been discouraged from enrolling in AP classes, fearing damage to their GPA and the resulting consequences, the change bodes well for Orion. With the grade scale revision, Kast expects an "increase in our AP numbers. A lot of students were fearful that if they took the AP it would hurt their GPA. Now it's being weighted [so] it helps them out," Kast said

"I think this is something that needed to be done. It is clearly a benefit for our students and now that we've had a chance to take a look at it, we're going to implement it immediately so that it can benefit all of our students right now at the high school."

For more information on the new GPA calculation, contact Kast at 248-693-5420.

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