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School board approves weighted GPA

A local student who takes advanced placement and honors classes will reap greater rewards in the coming school year.

The Lake Oswego School Board voted unanimously last week to implement a weighted grade-point average system at Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high schools.

“It’s for our kids ... anything we can do to help our kids,” school board member John Wendland said.

Effective this fall, the change would mean a student would receive a regular and weighted GPA on his or her report card.

“Weighted GPA can really only help, so it would be an automatic report on the transcripts,” Director of Secondary Education Donna Atherton said.

A weighted GPA factors AP and honors classes differently: 5 points instead of 4 points for an A, 4 points instead of 3 for a B and so on. It is still zero points for an F grade.

With a weighted GPA, a student could get a GPA above 4.0.

School board member Bob Barman asked if there might be a way to figure out weighted GPAs this fall before students send out college applications.

Atherton said she would look into it, and school counselors may need to hand-calculate the data.

Barman said that the results would be of great help for students. He submitted an amendment to the weighted GPA issue, item 7.6 on the board’s Aug. 8 meeting agenda, to the other board members.

“I move that we approve 7.6 as submitted with the caveat that we see if we can advantage kids, our current senior rising class this early fall,” he said.

The board approved the item with Barman’s caveat.

Providing a weighted GPA on transcripts will make it easier for the many colleges, universities and scholarship organizations that already compute weighted GPAs in-house, and for those that don’t, it will help local students stand out among their competing applicants, Barman said after the meeting.

The board voted to eliminate class ranking last year, and that change also will go into effect this school year, Barman said. He added that the board nixed class ranking because it can count against top students vying for spots at exclusive schools that may turn away a student who isn’t ranked in the top 10.

In other business at the meeting:

  • Director of Facility Operations Rob Dreier provided an update on the two-classroom portable building at River Grove Elementary School and the playground at Westridge Elementary School. The playground, to be finished this summer, was coming together, and drainage costs are being discussed, Dreier said. The portable has been installed and will be ready for teachers to move into by the end of the month. It will be the second portable building at the school. In response to a reader’s inquiry, the Review asked if the portable meets state seismic requirements.

    "The buildings are constructed to applicable structural and seismic requirements at the time of construction," Dreier said.

  • The school board continued its discussion of its priorities, including the search for a superintendent, the local option levy and a long-term, cost-saving strategy.

  • The board approved an update to its policy on hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying, menacing, cyberbullying and teen dating violence. The changes, which include new gender identity language, bring the district up to state standards and address criticism that the 2-year-old policy was out of date.



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