Faculty revise 9.0 GPA scale

The Newtonite

by Alex Feit and Samantha Libraty
In order to better meet the standards for college applications, this school will transition to a new grade point average system, according to College and Career Center counselor Brad MacGowan.
The new GPA system will run on a weighted 5.0 scale, with an A grade counting as a 5.0 for honors classes, 4.5 for curriculum I and 4.0 for curriculum II.
“The 5.0 scale aligns us with South and other schools around the nation, and it makes the data we send to colleges, employers, scholarship organizations and college recruiters much more clear and understandable,” guidance department head Beth Swederskas said.
The new system, which will replace the current 9.0 scale, will be more in line with how colleges expect to receive college applicants’ academic performances, MacGowan said.
“Colleges are flooded with more and more applications every year. We have heard from some colleges that they love our school, but did not like our 9.0 GPA scale,” MacGowan said.
The revised 5.0 GPA scale will be used starting with the Class of 2013 and will still only include marks from grades 10, 11 and 12.
Administrative staff have been debating the topic of changing the GPA scale for over 15 years, MacGowan said.
Over the past few years, MacGowan worked closely with College and Career Center counselor Sarah Hoffman on revising the current scale, Swederskas said.
Hoffman has dealt with college admissions in past years and has seen the importance of a concise and understandable college transcript, Swederskas said.
MacGowan and Hoffman brought the proposal to the guidance department at the beginning of the school year, Swederskas said.
The guidance department unanimously voted to adopt the 5.0 weighted GPA scale, Swederskas said.
“It makes total sense to change to a 5.0 scale. With the 9.0 scale, there was no true conversion to see how a student was doing academically, and we had to make ballpark estimates on where a student would be on a 5.0 or 4.0 weighted scale,” she said.
After the vote, MacGowan presented the proposal to the Academic Standards Committee, a committee made up of teachers, administrators and counselors, Swederskas said.
The Academic Standards Committee then voted Wednesday, Dec. 21 to pass the revised 5.0 GPA scale, she said.
At a faculty meeting last Tuesday, principal Jennifer Price discussed the Academic Standards Committee’s proposal with the faculty. Price said she officially approved the GPA change at last Wednesday’s Academic Standards Committee meeting.
The existing 4.0 unweighted GPA scale will stay the same, Swederskas said.