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Announced on: Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

FCPS Superintendent Recommends Changes to Honors Course Grade Point Weight

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Jack Dale presented his recommendations on increasing the grade point weight for honors courses to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting on June 25. Dale’s recommendations were based on the findings of a committee formed—at the request of the Board—to address issues related to honors courses and the weighting of grades for FCPS students. The change in the weighting for honors courses is part of a revamped grading scale and weighting system that the School Board approved in January.

These changes to the FCPS grading policy include a modified ten-point grading scale that uses pluses and minuses and an increase in the weight for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses from 0.5 to 1.0. 

Dale recommended that honors courses in mathematics, science, English, and social studies receive a 0.5 weight. The weighting of honors courses will begin during the upcoming 2009-10 school year and will be retroactive. As an example, a student who is a junior during the 2009-10 school year who took an honors course as a freshman will receive an additional 0.5 weight for that course added to his or her transcript retroactively. Dual enrollment courses that are currently weighted will continue to be weighted. 

In addition, students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) will receive a weighting of 0.5 for all required math, science, English, and social studies courses. The weighting of 0.5 will be awarded to all math courses above the level of AP courses that are not dual enrollment and to all science, math, and technology research and mentorship courses. 

“This is a work in progress,” said School Board chair Dan Storck. “All schools will have the opportunity to appeal decisions on individual classes, and staff will provide the Board with a revised list of courses which are to be weighted each spring.”

The new FCPS grading policies will benefit students who challenge themselves by taking higher-level courses as part of their programs of study. 


Note: For more information, contact the FCPS Department of Communications and Community Outreach at 571-423-1200.