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Published: Wednesday, 11/2/2005

Otsego: Extra rank calculation discussed


Otsego High School students could soon have their class ranks calculated at the end of the fall semester as well as at the end of the year.

A committee of staff, administrators, parents, and students discussed the district's grade-weighing and ranking procedures. At the next board meeting on Nov. 17, high school Principal David Drewyor plans to bring a written recommendation to the board that the rank-calculation policy be changed for all students, effective for the current semester, which ends in January.

High school guidance counselor Ken Haynes said that many colleges like to see students' GPA and class rank after the fall semester of their senior year. Currently, Otsego seniors' class rank is calculated at the end of their junior year.

The change means that students who make a B in one semester of a class but get an A for the course overall would have a lower rank than students who made an A in both semesters.

"It's going to spread the grade points out a little bit," Mr. Drewyor said.

The district's policy on weighted grades will remain unchanged.

Otsego gives weighted grades for three classes: physics, calculus, and senior-year honors English.

Students get an extra 0.5 grade points.

The committee considered adding more weighted courses or doing away with grade weighting.

Mr. Haynes said the current procedure makes very little difference in students' GPAs. Most graduate with 25 or 26 credits, and an extra 1.5 points doesn't raise their GPAs very much.

He examined the automatic college scholarships given to freshmen who meet certain GPA and test-score requirements to see whether Otsego students would have received the same scholarships if their grades had not been weighted.

"It made no difference in the scholarships," he said.

Mr. Drewyor said people on some scholarship selection committees might not know how many weighted courses a district offers. Students from districts with many more weighted classes could have a higher GPA than Otsego students even if they had the same letter grades in equivalent classes. That could hurt Otsego students' chances at getting the scholarships, Mr. Drewyor said.

Both Perrysburg High School and Anthony Wayne High School give students five grade points for an A in honors and advanced placement classes.

Perrysburg Principal Michael Short said the district offers "quite a few" of those classes.

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