Several students at Coachella Valley High School noticed a fluctuation in their GPA back in December. According to seniors, this affected the overall student ranking at this high school, which is why they expressed their concerns to the school board as soon as they noticed.
Valeria Mejia is one of the students who talked to school officials, and although the board changed the grades back to normal, she still wants to know why they did it without informing students, parents and teachers.
“Me personally, I went from rank 6 to 11, just like that, and I had a 4.2 and personally I was really upset because how do I just go from being top 10 to out of top 10 borderline 11 when I earned it and was really proud of it,” Mejia said.
Mejia and other students brought up this issue to the Coachella Valley Unified School District board during Thursday’s meeting. The next day, a letter was sent to students, staff and parents explaining why there was a change in GPAs.
“Recently, the District intended to revise the GPA weight system for Honors courses to bring it into alignment with the UC/CSU GPA calculation,” the board said in a statement. “The rationale behind the decision was to ensure that students were recognized for more rigorous coursework.”
This means honors classes would get a boost making them the same weight as an Advanced Placement (AP) class. As of now, honors classes are worth 0.5 more than regular classes whereas AP classes are a full point greater than regular classes.
“We took AP classes because it was an advantage we had to take advantage of obviously because if you take AP classes you get a boost, you get a certain boost, a better opportunity to go to a higher education,” Mejia said. “That’s what we want because we don’t have money, most of us need everything we can get to get to where we want to be.”
Jesus Lechuga has also been vocal about this issue at his high school. He said students say they haven’t had access to the system that tells them what their ranking is making it harder to apply for scholarships and colleges.
“Some of them require us to put a rank and without us knowing the ranks we do not know what to put in there,” Lechuga said.
In that same letter, the Coachella Valley Unified School District apologized for the confusion and said they will not apply the proposed changes to honors classes at this time.
“The current policy for calculating the GPA weight for Honors courses will remain as it was in November 2018,” the letter read.