Hilliard Northwest News

District officials eye retroactive weighting of honors grades

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Hilliard City Schools officials are considering a policy change to retroactively apply weighted grade-point averages for honors classes at the high school and middle school levels.

At issue is a new policy that applies a weighted GPA for students enrolled in some honors-level classes.

Honors-level classes are a step between standard classes and Advanced Placement classes, district officials said. Weighted GPAs have been applied to AP classes, but had not been applied to honors classes until this year.

A few parents, some of whom spoke at a previous board meeting, opined the new policy is unfair to students who took the same classes last year, yet will have a lower GPA to show for the effort.

"There are some parents who want (the new weighting policy) applied retroactively and we're looking at our options," said district spokeswoman Amanda Morris.

Superintendent John Marschhausen said he had "passionate discussions" with parents at a recent school function and will discuss possible remedies with his administration.

"My goal is to have a report finished in January," Marschhausen said at the Nov. 25 school board meeting.

Morris said students' GPAs are not the only consideration for the district.

Applying retroactive changes likely would create additional expenses for the district, the amount of which has yet to be determined, Morris said.

"We're still exploring all our options," Morris said.

She said district officials don't know how many years back they would recalculate GPAs, if they did it at all.

The district contracts with SunGard to operate its student-information system. Those services include the district's Home Access Center, the service likely most familiar to parents, Morris said, as well as the Grade Book program and class rankings.

The annual fee is $80,374, which covers maintenance and upkeep, Morris said.

SunGard would have to write a new program to retroactively recalculate the GPAs, Morris said.

"We don't know yet what that cost might be," Morris said. "It's all a part of our continuing discussions."