Change the Way that Essex High School Calculates GPA

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We are voters who live in the Essex Westford School District ("EWSD") in Vermont.  We believe that the current method that Essex High School ("EHS") uses to convert grades to a grade point average ("GPA") is unfair and negatively impacts students who are applying for college.  We respectfully request that the EWSD School Board and/or the EHS Administration stop using the current method and adopt the GPA conversion scale that is used by other local high schools and schools nationwide.

Currently, EHS uses a numerical grading system that is converted to a GPA when students apply for college.  Number grades at EHS are converted to a GPA as follows: 

Number Grade        GPA

97 to 100                4.1-4.3
94 to 96                  3.8-4.0
92 to 93                  3.4-3.7
90 to 91                  3.1-3.3
87 to 89                  2.8-3.0
85 to 86                  2.4-2.7
83 to 84                  2.1-2.3
80 to 82                  1.8-2.0
78 to 79                  1.4-1.7
76 to 77                  1.1-1.3
73 to 75                  0.8-1.0
70 to 72                  0.5-0.7

See 2017-2018 EHS School Profile at https://www.ewsd.org/cms/lib/VT02217845/Centricity/Domain/395/2017-18%20EHS%20School%20Profile.pdf.

Many other high schools, including Champlain Valley Union High School ("CVU"), South Burlington High School, and Mount Mansfield High School, use the following conversion scale:

Number Grade        GPA

97 to 100                   4.33
93 to 96                     4.00
90 to 92                     3.67
87 to 89                     3.33
83 to 86                     3.00 
80 to 82                     2.67
77 to 79                     2.33
73 to 76                     2.00
70 to 72                     1.67
67 to 69                     1.33
63 to 66                     1.00 
60 to 62                     0.67  

Seee.g., 2017-2018 CVU School Profile at http://cvuweb.cvuhs.org/information/SchoolProfile.pdf; 2017-2018 Mount Mansfield Student Profile at http://mmu.cesuvt.org/students/studentservices/school-information/school-profile; 2017-2018 South Burlington Student Profile at https://www.sbschools.net/cms/lib/VT01819219/Centricity/Domain/78/Profile%20%2017-18.pdf.

The second scale closely aligns with the GPA conversion scale that the College Board identifies as "the standard scale at most colleges" and "many high schools."  The major difference is that on the College Board scale any number above a 93 is a 4.0 and any number below a 65 is a 0.0.  See https://pages.collegeboard.org/how-to-convert-gpa-4.0-scale.

Under the current EHS GPA system, a student who has an 83 average will have a 2.1 GPA when applying to colleges.  Unfortunately, a student with this GPA will have a difficult time being accepted to colleges.  Although many colleges do not publicize any sort of GPA cut off for admissions, there are some that do.  For example, an out of state student applying to schools within the University of California system must have a minimum of a 3.4 GPA to attend.              See http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/out-of-state/index.html.  

Under the current EHS system, a student who has achieved a 90 average will have a 3.1 GPA.  If a similar student attending CVU achieved a 90 average, they would have a 3.67 GPA.  This difference in GPA can have a profound effect when applying to college.  While the CVU student could be admitted to a University of California school, the EHS student could not.

The EHS GPA system can also affect the amount that students have to pay for car insurance.  Many car insurance companies, like Progressive, offer discounts to students who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.  Seee.g.https://www.progressive.com/understanding-insurance/entries/2009/9/1/do_you_leave_town_f/.  Unfortunately, under the EHS system, a student with an 83 average would not qualify for the discount because they would only have a 2.1 GPA.  If that same student attended CVU and achieved an 83 average, they would qualify for the discount and save money.  

It is time to change the way that EHS calculates GPA and effectively communicate the success that our students have achieved.  We want all EHS students who want to attend college to be able to attend the school that they deserve to attend.  We want our students to succeed and to be able to compete in the college admissions process.  



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