The First Hurdle

New Calculations For Grade Point Average, Ranks For Class of 2025


Photo by Ally JohnPress

This year, for Class of 2025, only core classes are utilized to calculate weighted GPA. According to LISD, the official weighted GPA includes up to eight semesters in English/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and four semesters in languages other than English (LOTE).

Ally JohnPress, Editor-in-Chief

With the favorite time of the year comes the not-so-favorite revelation of each student’s grade point average and class rank. Those poor souls who thought it was “just a number,” are in for a real treat. If I had any advice for underclassmen, it would be that you must try your freshman year to stay ahead of the curve. Those Advanced Placement (AP) classes are not going to take themselves. 

However, Class of 2025, you are one of the lucky ones. Last December, the LISD Board of Trustees voted for change. As our education system slowly progresses past the stone age and begins to recognize that students’ passions should be explored and maybe they should not be represented by numbers, you will be the first class to experience a new kind of GPA and rank system– one that prioritizes “student choice” and “focuses on the whole child.” (Thank you LISD, too kind of you.) 

Here is all you need to know about GPA, including changes, from a senior who wishes this had happened four years ago:

  • What is included in GPA and rank
  • When GPA and rank come out
  • Level I, II, III classes

In years past, a student’s GPA was the number that was the combined average of every unweighted and weighted class of semester grades. A weighted class included AP and Pre-AP courses and were weighted on a 6.0 scale. An unweighted class included on-level and elective courses and were weighted on a 5.0 scale. 

This year, Class of 2025, only core classes are utilized to calculate weighted GPA. According to LISD, the official weighted GPA includes:

  • Up to eight semesters in English/language arts
  • Up to eight semesters in mathematics
  • Up to eight semesters in science
  • Up to eight semesters in social studies
  • Up to four semesters in languages other than English (LOTE)

 If a student takes more courses than listed above, the highest average in that category is chosen for calculating GPA. How sweet is that?

Personally, I look at this like a gift from Texas Education Administration Gods themselves. Instead of worrying about taking courses that will help you maintain a high GPA, all you have to worry about is academics. Freshmen have the option to pursue their interests in classes that would otherwise have lessened their GPA – even if they got a 100. I can honestly say that I regret not taking culinary or fashion design, so take classes that intrigue and interest you for a change. 

As for your rank, only the top 10% of the class will be notified in Naviance with a number rank. The rest of the class will either be given a quartile or a percent for their rank. I am proud that LISD is finally taking a page out of the book, “Numbers Don’t Define You.”

When will you know GPA and class rank?

Unlike past years, you will NOT be notified before the second semester. Instead, freshmen and sophomores will receive both their GPA and class rank at the end of the school year. Juniors and seniors will receive this information each semester, as it is necessary to know for college preparations and applications. That way, those numbers will not be hanging over your head like a dark cloud during your underclassmen years. 

Level I, II, III classes

Our school has always been on a 6.0 scale, and that will remain the same. However, certain classes now entail different “weights.”

  • Level I, 5.0 scale: This level includes on-level core academic courses and on-level languages other than English courses.
  • Level II, 5.5 scale: This level includes advanced, QUEST and preparatory core courses and language courses.
  • Level III, 6.0 scale: This level includes the big Advanced Placement (AP) classes, core or other, as well as International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. 

The new system embodies balance, which I am all for. Now, instead of feeling pressured to take as many AP courses as possible, students can balance their academics with extracurriculars, allowing themselves to delve deeper into their interests. 

My advice no longer remains “stay ahead of the curve,” but rather learn the benefit behind balance. Take that AP course, but also, create that floral arrangement, bake cookies or pursue writing and journalism. Personally, if I had known too much about GPA my freshman year like I do now, I probably would not have picked journalism. But I am so glad I did, and now I am lucky enough to be your Editor-in-Chief. Who knows, one day you might attribute your future career plans to that one course in high school you took simply because it looked fun.

For more information about GPA and class rank, click here or contact your school counselor through email.