After complaints from students and parents, Shadow Hills High School and the Desert Sands Unified School District are taking steps to correct the schools miscalculation of student GPA’s.
For high school students, getting into a good college is a combination of things.
"They want to see a kid that’s doing community service and that’s involved in athletics and clubs and of course the rigor of the advanced placement courses," said Marcus Wood, principal of Shadow Hills High School.
For the last eight years, Shadow Hills High School has not been calculating student GPA’s according to the Desert Sands Unified School District’s policy. The district’s policy states that honors performing arts classes should only receive "weighted" credit once for the highest level course. But eight years ago when the school opened, students received "weighted" credit for each year and for each course they took. Something that parents and students argue inflates GPA’s for students who take multiple honors performing arts classes.
"We have to do more work and take tests and study and for art classes…it’s not as much work you have to do," said Krystal Lopez, a senior at Shadow Hills High School.
But it is still not clear who was responsible for the error.
"I think it’s everybody’s responsibility to know policy as much as they can. It’s a large document. I think experience of folks just being able to work within policy is how most of the time I think people are aware. But I couldn’t answer that specifically in terms of when the school first opened," said Wood.
There are no concrete figures as to how many students might have been affected by the school’s mistake in the past. This year, there will be two valedictorians and two salutatorians. One student will be awarded the ranking according to the school’s GPA calculations and one student for the district calculations. Going forward, freshman and sophomores will have their GPA calculated according to the district’s policy.