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School officials OK request for weighted grades

The Jefferson County Board of Education approved a plan to increase the point value of grades received in honors and other advan

The Jefferson County Board of Education approved a plan to increase the point value of grades received in honors and other advan

December 03, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

In a move that could help Jefferson High School students obtain scholarships and financial aid in college, the Jefferson County Board of Education Tuesday night approved a plan for "weighted" grades for the students.

Weighted grades carry a higher point value than grades used in the current system.

Students will be eligible to receive the weighted grades in honors and advanced core courses, school officials said.

Currently, an A grade in those courses equals four points, a B grade equals three points, a C grade equals to 2 points and D is one point.

According to the proposal presented by Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols, the point value for each of the grades will increase by a half point.

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For example, the point value for an A grade will increase from 4 to 4.5.

About 115 students at Jefferson High School signed a petition in favor of weighted grades.

Jefferson High School student Brian Larrimore told Board of Education members it is important for students at the school to be able to receive weighted grades.

Larrimore said it is not fair for students in other counties that use weighted grades to get a higher grade point average than Jefferson High School students who work just as hard in advanced courses.

"I appreciate the student input very much. You're the whole purpose of our being," said Board of Education President Lori Stilley.

Although Nichols said weighted grades do not always mean greater scholarship advantages and other benefits at colleges, West Virginia University and Marshall University consider weighted grades for programs like financial aid, said Sandy Collier, a parent who worked on the proposal.

Nichols presented the board of education with several ways of implementing weighted grades, such as waiting until 2008 to implement them.

Board members were concerned that too many students would miss out on the opportunity to have weighted grades if they were not put into effect until then.

The plan passed by the board will make weighted grades retroactive to the beginning of the current school year, meaning any students currently enrolled in honors and advanced core classes will have the opportunity to receive weighted grades.

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