Registering By GPA, Not Seniority

Grant Torre, Staff Writer

The process of registering for the coming year’s classes is simple for some students, but can be a stressful time for others. After registering, students are often surprised to see that a class they had requested is missing from their schedule. More often than not, a class fills up with upperclassmen before any underclassmen can schedule for it. This system gives seniors highest priority in choosing classes, then juniors, sophomores and freshman get final pick. The structure needs to be overhauled in order to ensure that the students placed in each class are not necessarily the oldest, but have the best chance to pass the class. A system based on GPA would solve this problem and add incentive for students to work harder.

If the school adopted a policy where all academic classes would be scheduled according to GPA, each class would have a higher passing rate each year. In this system, students with the highest GPAs would be enrolled in a class with more students wishing to take the class than spaces available. If forty spots are available and fifty students wish to take a certain class, the forty students with the highest GPA would be enrolled. This policy would make sure that the students who get into a class would work for an “A,” rather than settle for a “C.” Jason Zheng (11) likes the new policy, “…at least for the advanced placement and honors courses. There have been plenty of classes I’ve been in where students have just done nothing and slept. They shouldn’t have priority into getting into the next class over a student who does his work and gets good grades.”

In addition, many students could drop classes during the first few weeks of school as the course is overly challenging or was not what they were expecting. The new policy would only enroll students who would be willing to work hard in these difficult courses. In order to ensure that all get the credits needed for graduation, the new GPA system for enrollment should only be used in determining placement in rigorous classes such as AP and Honors classes, while the seniority system should be left in place for arts and elective classes needed to meet credit requirements.

If West High adopted the GPA policy for registering students in challenging classes more students would pass the class with an “A” or a “B” and fewer students would drop classes, giving the already swamped counselors one less thing to worry about.