June 6, 2017
NC State Board of Education Grade Point Average (GPA) Notification Letter
Dear Davidson County Student and Parent/Guardian:
In January 2015, the North Carolina State Board of Education passed policy GCS-L-004. This policy makes drastic changes to our current practice of calculating Grade Point Average (GPA) for students who entered high school in 2015-2016 and later. There are three changes reflected in the policy which create unique changes to our current practice.
- Students who entered high school in 2015-2016 and later will have experienced four full years of the 10 point grading scale. In calculating the GPA, this translates into a student with a final grade of 90 earning the same points as a student with a final grade of 100.
- The differentiation in additional weighting between courses is smaller.
- An honors course is now weighted only an additional .50 points, not 1.0 point. o
- An Advanced Placement/Career & College Promise course is now weighted only an additional .50 points, not 1.0 point.
- Advanced Placement courses and Career & College Promise courses will carry the same additional weight in calculating Grade Point Average. Enrollment in CCP courses at all of our high schools has increased.
As each of our high schools review the rankings for the 2016-2017 sophomore classes, the impacts of these changes have already surfaced. These changes will complicate the practice of relying upon class rank for academic recognitions. Many or our current 10th grade students have identical Grade Point Averages making it difficult if not impossible to identify one valedictorian and one salutatorian at each of our high schools. We anticipate the number of students with identical GPA’s to continue to increase as these students complete high school.
As a result of the required changes at the state level, many North Carolina school districts have examined their current practices and policies. We have done the same in Davidson County Schools. On June 5, 2017, our Board of Education approved recommended changes to Policy 6.8.4 to discontinue the practice of identifying a valedictorian and salutation beyond the graduating class of 2018.
Historically, our traditional high schools have allowed the valedictorian and salutatorian to speak at commencement ceremonies. In response to the change in policy our schools will need to create a new procedure for selecting student speakers for commencement ceremonies. High school principals recommended a committee comprised of administrators, teachers, students, and parents create the proposal for a new speaker selection process after soliciting input from stakeholders. At the conclusion of the committee’s work, the new procedure will be presented to the Davidson County Schools Board of Education for approval. Once approved the new procedure will be shared with members of our school communities.
Thank you in advance for your support. We value any suggestions you may offer as we plan for a new process to recognize and honor our Davidson County Schools graduates.