This year, students who continued a foreign language or math course from middle school to high school have had their middle school grades automatically placed on their transcripts.
Student transcripts were passed out Thursday and Friday in English classes, so that students could determine whether they are positively or negatively affected by the change. "It depends on the individual and depends on their overall weighted GPA," said guidance counselor Karen Hunt.
Students positively impacted by the addition are those who need the credits for graduation or who have poor weighted and unweighted grade point averages, but performed well in their middle school courses. "If students' grades are not that strong, then pulling up their grades, if they got A's and B's, would help them," said Hunt.
According to Hunt, students hurt by the alteration include those who did poorly in the added courses or those with weighted grade point averages above a 4.3.
Even if students received perfect grades in their middle school courses, their weighted grade point averages may still be affected negatively. "Those grades are typically not honors classes," said Hunt.
Since weighted grade point averages are calculated with A's and B's earned in honors, advanced or AP courses considered as 5's and 4's, respectively, and advanced and AP C's counted as 3's, "those unweighted grades will pull down the weighted averages," said Hunt. A's and B's in regular classes are counted as 4's and 3's, respectively, in weighted grade point average calculations.
Students who wish to have their middle school courses dropped from their transcripts may obtain a form from the guidance office. Certain students, however, will need credits from these classes for graduation. "They can't use [dropped classes] to fulfill their graduation requirement," Hunt said.
Prior to this year, students had to request to have their middle school grades added to their transcripts. Although the decision to add middle school grades to high school transcripts was made by MCPS in the early 1990's, the delay was a result of what Hunt called a "glitch in the [computer] system".
An MCPS representative was unable to be reached for comment.
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