School is returning to the practice of awarding weighted grades in the
School Board on Monday accepted a recommendation from CHS Principal James
Goetz to implement a duel transcript system with the upcoming school year,
granting weighted grades retroactively for current high school students who
have taken the select courses. The incoming freshmen will then be the first
class to have the weighted grades in full effect.
grades, students get additional credit for taking the advanced courses.
Currently, an “A” grade is a 4.0, but with a weighted grade system, an “A”
would be a 5.0. The highest grade point average a student can achieve now is
4.33 for getting an A-plus in every course; with weighted grades, the
highest would be a 5.33 on the 4.0 scale.
Goetz said the
move to weighted grades was prompted by an email he received from parent
Candace Frederick, who raised a concern that CHS students are getting
short-changed when it comes to college scholarships and other awards, due to
the lack of a weighted grade system.
was at Monday’s Duneland School Board meeting, said all other Porter County
schools use weighted grades, and that the higher GPA could make a real
difference in the opportunity for advanced students to win college
have been at a disadvantage,” she said, adding that she is thrilled that the
program will be implemented retroactively.
Goetz said that
after receiving Frederick’s email, he formed a committee to explore the
concept. He said all the teachers on committee worked not in the best
interests of their individual departments, but for the good of the overall
school in developing the parameters.
decided that all courses in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate,
Gifted and Talented and Honors will have weighted grades. Other courses and
positions will also have weighted grades, such as advanced two-dimensional
art, editor-in-chief of the yearbook or newspaper, and physiology and
Goetz said that
the program to implement the weighted grades for the current students isn’t
perfect, but is the fairest that could be designed. Current CHS students
will be allowed the weighted grades retroactively, which in turn could make
them eligible for in-house honors programs, such as the CHS Wall of Fame.
Incoming freshmen will be eligible for weighted grades as part of their
He also said
that the list of eligible courses that will receive weighted grades is not
etched in stone but subject to change, with other courses added as needed.
He said he would prefer to start with a smaller list of courses and add onto
it later, rather than remove courses.
receive the weighted grade if they maintain at least a C-minus in the class.
Goetz noted that
CHS used to have weighted grades a number of years ago when current Duneland
Superintendent Dirk Baer was CHS principal. But even after CHS dropped
weighted grades, the number of kids taking the advanced classes didn’t
change significantly. On the flip side, Goetz said he can see some students
deciding to take the more advanced courses because of the additional
The school board
was given a round of applause from the audience after unanimously approving
the weighted grades proposal.