The Central York school board voted Monday to reject a new high school student handbook, which would have meant dual enrollment classes would not have been weighted or counted in students' grade point average calculations.
The board voted 5-4 against the proposal, which means the administration will need to bring a new proposal regarding dual enrollment classes to the July board meeting.
In the interest of ensuring a fair process, the administration recommended not weighting the grades for college classes students take while still attending Central and not including them in students' GPAs.
Those are known as dual enrollment classes, and the change was proposed because York College, Penn State York and HACC's York campus do not provide numerical grades to Central. For the past several years, students who received an "A" in a dual enrollment class have automatically received a 100 percent for GPA calculations.
Under the proposal, honors, advanced placement and College in the Classroom classes would receive 1.1, 1.2 and 1.2 weighting, respectively.
Dual enrollment courses, which had been weighted at 1.2, would not have been included in GPA calculations at all.
Public comment: One student, Mercy Harris, spoke in favor of changing the policy, saying students will still receive the distinction and grades on their transcripts, but shouldn't continue to receive an "artificial grade boost."
But a few other parents spoke in favor of continuing with the previous policy.
"We should be encouraging students to take advantage of these opportunities," said Nancy O'Neill, a parent of two children in the district.
No matter what people say, O'Neill said, the weighting of dual enrollment classes is a motivator. And it was partially why her daughter, who graduated last month, took four dual enrollment classes at Penn State York, and now has 12 fewer credits she needs to earn at full cost at Penn State's main campus starting in the fall.
Instead of looking for ways to change the grading process, O'Neill said, the district should be looking for more ways to help students afford the half-price dual enrollment classes, if they choose to take them.
Board rejection: Board member Greg Lewis said he also believed changing the grading process would be a "de-motivator."
"I believe we're too concerned about making everything 100 percent fair all the time," he said.
Board members Eric Wolfgang and Barb Johnston said they didn't support the change because students should be rewarded for taking higher-level classes, regardless of whether they're seeking the grade boost.
The wide opposing viewpoints at several board meetings means there should be another solution that is more of a compromise, said board member Michael Snyder, who also voted against the change.
"I don't think that we've come up with the best solution," Snyder said. "I think we should come up with a better way to evaluate this."
Board member Karl Peckmann also voted against the handbook, but for different reasons, including a "safety net" in grading that does not allow students to earn less than 50 percent in a class in the first marking period, even if they should have earned less than that. Peckmann said he would approve a change to grading policy.
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