Switching it Up

Reese Hill, Reporter

Like many students at City, I initially thought the new change from a 4.0 to a 5.0 scale was jarring. It didn’t get why we would change something that had made sense for years and years so far. But then I remembered that I had thought the same thing a few years ago when our school schedule was shifted to begin later in the day. Even though these situations are completely different, I realized maybe we should give it a chance.

For starters, the 4.0 system has had us at a disadvantage against other students nationwide as we compete for enrollment in college. Many other schools which use the weighted system show higher grade point averages than we do, and even though we can check a box on our transcripts to show our grades aren’t weighted like other schools, many colleges don’t go back to translate those results into a weighted GPA. For students wanting to get into an elite school, this makes the competition that much more difficult when there are students elsewhere who have 4.1 or above.

The thing is, we will still be at a disadvantage — my graduating class of 2020 especially, as we’ve already had three years of the plain 4.0 system. It’s nearly impossible to go back three years and translate the GPAs of every single student in the district, especially when many Honors and AP classes are graded on individualized scales anyway. This will make forming our cumulative GPA over all four years difficult — how do you take into account the weighted years against the regular-scaled ones?

While I’m still skeptical I do have faith in the administration. This change hasn’t been permanently worked out yet and the district is still trying to smooth out the wrinkles and deal with this new problem we share.

Anyway, this new system won’t hurt us, and it is being made in hopes of helping us out. While the inconvenience of the two different systems is a glaring issue, the truth is that now many more students will be motivated to take AP and Honors classes. Not only that, but we will get more due credit for what we put into our education. And even though the title of “valedictorian” will no longer exist at City, more students than before will be able to graduate with the title of “cum laude”, “magna cum laude”, or “suma cum laude”, which overall will better highlight the abilities of the students here.

Even though I’m upset my cumulative GPA might be a little weird-looking when I graduate, I’m glad that at least my brother will go to school with the new system when he comes here in 2021. I think this a positive move on the part of ICCSD for the best interest of future students. The details of this switch haven’t been curated yet, and until then, we should trust that the adults behind it all are trying to look out for us.