UPDATED: School Committee unanimously votes to remove weighted GPA from WHS

A+student+compares+their+GPA+to+a+national+table+for+Harvard+University.+WPS%27+School+Committee+voted+Monday+night+to+get+rid+of+weighted+GPA.+It+will+take+effect+for+the+Class+of+2022.
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UPDATED: School Committee unanimously votes to remove weighted GPA from WHS

A student compares their GPA to a national table for Harvard University. WPS' School Committee voted Monday night to get rid of weighted GPA. It will take effect for the Class of 2022.

A student compares their GPA to a national table for Harvard University. WPS' School Committee voted Monday night to get rid of weighted GPA. It will take effect for the Class of 2022.

Credit: WSPN Staff

A student compares their GPA to a national table for Harvard University. WPS' School Committee voted Monday night to get rid of weighted GPA. It will take effect for the Class of 2022.

Credit: WSPN Staff

Credit: WSPN Staff

A student compares their GPA to a national table for Harvard University. WPS' School Committee voted Monday night to get rid of weighted GPA. It will take effect for the Class of 2022.

Nathan Zhao, Hannah Rice, and Kate Balicki

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In a unanimous vote on Mar. 26, WPS’ School Committee voted to cease reporting weighted GPAs for WHS students beginning with next year’s incoming freshmen.

The decision was a result of two meetings full of discourse among committee members, administrators and parents. While it will not affect current WHS students, the Class of 2022 and all classes forthcoming will not receive a weighted GPA.

The original proponent of the proposal, WHS Principal Allyson Mizoguchi, was present to answer questions from committee members at both sessions. The entire School Committee, which is comprised of members Nate Buffum, Jeanne Downs, Kim Reichelt, Kathie Steinberg and chair Ellen Grieco, was present at the meeting and each member offered their reasoning for the decision.

All members explicitly deferred to the expertise of professionals in the field and the recommendation from Mizoguchi.

“I don’t really think I am not all about democracy,” Grieco said. “This is a decision that should be made by the professionals.”

Grieco added that she was “very torn” about making a decision and believed that students would be able to better express themselves academically without a weighted GPA.

“[It’s really] important to have people see themselves broadly,” Grieco said. “[This allows for colleges to] see the whole person instead of one numeric measure.”

“We want students to succeed,” Buffum said. “I believe we do need to trust WHS staff and teachers, [as they have] research [and] experiences with students all day.”

In her reasoning, Reichelt noted that she felt rushed due to the timeliness required in such a decision. It was made known during the meeting that a decision had to be reached today, Mar. 26, in order for the proposal to go into effect for the following school year. This is due to the starting of the course selection process for the Class of 2022 this week.

“The way we think about this says something about our values,” Reichelt said.

In the public comment section before the formal start of the committee member discourse, parents, Mizoguchi and WPS Superintendent of Schools Arthur Unobskey voiced their opinions.

According to Mizoguchi, students have decided not to take certain courses because they fear it will impact their GPA negatively. She believes this causes less non-honors level courses to run.

One parent argued against the proposal, contending that most students did not support it.

“The kids have been very clear [about not removing weighted GPAs],” one parent said. “Why are we so much smarter than the kids?”

“We can allow [students] to not have to deal with this additional ‘thing’ that we created,” Unobskey said. “Why not let them develop resilience skills and talent without this Wayland currency around GPA?”

It was unclear how or whether valedictorians and salutatorians of future classes would be determined.

Check out WSPN’s previous coverage of the weighted GPA removal here.

Editor’s note: We have updated the article since its initial publication. After reviewing the WayCAM video, we stand by our updated coverage of the school committee meeting.

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