LARGO — Starting next school year, incoming freshmen in Pinellas County high schools may find that honors classes carry less weight for their GPA than college-level Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual-enrollment classes.
School Board members voted during their Tuesday meeting to schedule a public hearing on the measure, which would give students more credit for taking harder courses. Because this was the first time the measure came to the School Board, another vote is required before it takes effect.
“When we change the weight of an honors course, it won’t impact the student’s class ranking, but rather their qualifications for certain academic achievements, letter, scholarships, and things like that,” said Superintendent Michael Grego at the meeting.
Currently, an “A” in all honors, AP, IB and dual enrollment courses is worth five points, while an “A” in regular high school courses is worth only four. Now, an A in an honors course will be worth 4.5 points, giving students more weight for taking the more difficult AP, IB and dual-enrollment courses and potentially encouraging more students to enroll.
The new weighting system would affect only incoming 9th-graders, so no current students’ GPAs would have to be adjusted, Grego said.