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GISD board discusses weighed course policy

During the Fall semester the Graham Independent School District Board of Trustees heard proposed amendments to the school policy EIC (LOCAL) by Graham High School student Hank Graham as it pertained to the calculation of a student’s grade point average.

Since then, the district has taken steps to make sure Graham’s concerns were heard by handing the issues directly to the student who were involved with the GHS YouthLead program ran in collaboration with the Graham Chamber of Commerce.

“During the 2018-2019 school year, Mr. (Joe) Gordy and myself, we leveraged the opinions, thoughts and research skills of YouthLead to research this topic and to make recommendations from the students perspective,” Cruse said. “We spent approximately 12 hours during this school year dedicating to this topic including researching approximately 20 other school districts and talking with our high school counselors, etc.”

YouthLead

The YouthLead group nominated two students to come present on the issue which were Graham and incoming senior Claire Jones. Graham could not be present at the meeting last Monday, but Jones attended and made a presentation to the board regarding the decision made by the YouthLead group.

“Over the past year we sat down as YouthLead and like Mr. Cruse said we spent a ton of hours looking at different schools in the district and outside of the district and what their GPA policy was,” Jones said. “We broke into groups and we evaluated it and then we saw if they counted what was weighted, did they count certain electives and we all kind of looked to see what all measured into their GPA.”
Jones said a GPA and enrollment cap were two of the many ideas proposed by the group during their discussions before coming to a final decision.

“What we as a group have come to a conclusion on and voted for, was that six classes would count toward the weighted side of your GPA, so you could only take an enrollment cap of six classes a year and two unweighted classes,” Jones said. “This would just kind of level out the playing field of playing the GPA game is what we call it. It is just students who take eight weighted classes because they want to take eight weighted classes, so their GPA can be a possible 5.0.”

The move was made to allow students to pursue the classes they desire without a perceived GPA disadvantage.

The YouthLead group ended up deciding on an enrollment cap of six classes per year with each student being limited to the highest GPA possible from six weighted and two unweighted courses for the freshman class of 2020-2021. Cruse said in the group’s research of other districts local policies, there was not one right way to make the rules regarding the weighted classes.

“Regardless of the system put in EIC LOCAL, it is fair,” Cruse said. “It is fair because every incoming freshman class is playing with the same rules. Even though some of them may disagree with the rules, it is the same rules for all.”

Cruse said the incoming class of eighth graders is already enrolled under the previous policy, so the board has about half a year to make a decision regarding the weighted course for the 2020-2021 freshman class. No action was taken by the board last Monday regarding the changes.

For the rest of the story, see the Wednesday, July 10 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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