Dear High School Parents and Students,
We want to make you aware of a recent change to the High School Program of Studies that applies to this current school year, 2017-2018. This change most directly impacts students in 9th-11th grade who are enrolled in an Advanced Placement (AP) course.
In February 2017, the School Board had approved a provision for the 2017-2018 school year that would have provided an additional 0.5 weight to the Grade Point Average (GPA) for AP courses in which a student scored a 3 or higher on the AP exam. However, we heard significant feedback during the beginning of the school year that this change to the GPA was not communicated effectively as students were signing up for courses. In addition, we heard that the additional GPA opportunity was not having the intended impact and was, in some cases, causing concerns with the exams as well as the equity of GPA opportunity with dual enrollment courses.
As a result of these concerns and an investigation of the matter, I recommended to the Lynchburg City School Board that this specific provision of GPA points tied to an AP exam score be removed. On December 5, 2017, the School Board agreed with and approved this recommendation. Therefore, the current 2017-2018 Program of Studies has been modified to remove this link of GPA to an AP exam score. The previous additional points for taking the AP course and AP exam remain. No change to a current GPA needs to occur because no student had yet taken an AP exam under the proposed rule.
Students in AP courses will still be expected to take the AP exam as has historically been the case with these courses. There will not be additional points tied to the exam score; rather, students will still have the motivation for strong performance on AP exams that they have always had – the potential for course credit from the college or university they attend in the future as well as an opportunity for their performance to be part of their college application.
An update to the 2017-2018 Program of Studies is now available on the LCS website. The only change is to remove the provision that was listed on page 5.
While this letter is primarily to inform you about the update to this current year's Program of Studies (2017-2018), the School Board has also now approved next year's Program of Studies (2018-2019). Because this was approved just last week, it is in the process of being printed and will be available in print and online later this month. This 2018-2019 Program of Studies maintains the change to the 2017-2018 Program of Studies described above.
Please contact your school counselor with any questions regarding this update.
Larry A. Massie