Currently Homer High School students taking an Advanced Placement (AP) class have a weighted GPA (grade point average), meaning they have the opportunity to achieve higher than a 4.0 GPA in each AP class.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District adds .021 points to the GPA for each AP class taken. For example, a person who obtains an A at the end of the semester in an AP class, and has a 4.0 overall. The overall score is taken and .021 is added. The person then has a 4.021. This happens every semester that an AP class is taken.
But where did .021 come from when most schools in the United States give a 5 if you obtain an A, a 4 for a B, and a 3 for a C?
Eight years ago the school board of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District met to discuss whether or not AP classes should have a weighted GPA. According to Mrs. Hampson, Homer High School counselor, this topic was very controversial. Some school board members thought that students taking the AP classes should not get a higher GPA for taking a harder class, when some students are not capable of taking these classes, so they will never get the opportunity to have the higher GPA. Others were in favor of having a weighted GPA, because the classes were harder, and students taking the classes deserved the extra .021 on their GPA.
Around that time, they argued that since AP classes were having a weighted GPA, then maybe students taking college classes should have a weighted GPA. Hampson said, “I didn’t want the college classes to be weighted, because the classes being taken at the college by high school students are beginning classes. They are much easier than the AP classes offered here.” As much as we would like the college classes GPA to be weighted, Mrs. Hampson said it’s most likely not going to happen.
The weighted GPA has had a very large impact on the Homer High School students attempting to be valedictorian. Before the weighted GPA, any student that maintained a 4.0 was valedictorian.
A little competition never hurt anyone. The weighted GPA just helped make school a place to compete. Instead of having half of a class be the valedictorian, we now have a few serious students that achieve the honor of being ranked number one in their school. Are you a competitor?