By Whitney Black
WCHS has many courses available to suit each students’ needs. A few of those classes are the weighted advanced classes. With the transition in grading systems, the weighting will change a bit. Counselor, Shannon Fritz explained all the details of these classes.
“A weighted class means at the end of the semester when the grade is assigned by the teacher, there’s a point value for each grade. A ‘weight’ means there is an additional point value that’s added on,” Fritz said.
Half-weighted classes mean that if a grade is a B in the class, instead of it being a 3.0 in the gradebook, it’s a 3.5, and if it was fully weighted, then it would be a 4.
This year, there have been many changes to the weighted system. Grade-level determines the form of the weighted class system students work by. There is the original one, the transition, and the new weighted system. The original weighted system offers many weighted classes. In the transition system, all AP classes are weighted, DC are half-weighted, and biology, algebra, and geometry honors classes are half-weighted. In the new system, all AP classes are weighted and DC are half-weighted, and biology, algebra, and geometry are not weighted.
“The current senior class is under the old weighted system, the juniors and sophomores are under the transition system, and the current 9th graders are under the new weight system,” Fritz said.
Weighted classes are college level courses. These are more difficult but having the additional weight can make up for the heavier workload.
“Classes are weighted to indicate that they are more difficult and will be more time consuming and more challenging for the student. So a weighted system is really … more of an incentive for a student to take more challenging classes,” Fritz said.
Although taking a weighted class will be more challenging and difficult, it has benefits that will help the student in the long run.
“The benefit is that a student’s GPA can be raised and that’s a reward for taking a more difficult class and being successful in it,” Fritz said.
Taking a weighted class has no requirements and all students are eligible to take them, although some classes have a required class beforehand.
“Some of the classes have prerequisite classes but if students want to take an AP class then they can sign up for it. The counselor will look at their previous grades and advise them, but it’s really up to the student and parent whether they take them or not,” Fritz said.
English teacher Brooke Fuentes teaches classes that are fully weighted. Fuentes discussed why she thinks students should take them.
“Any student who takes a weighted class benefits from the weight because it allows them to take the risk of taking a college level class without as much risk to their GPA,” Fuentes said.
Dual Credit U.S. history teacher Chris Wood discussed how DCUSH differs from his other classes.
“I honestly enjoy teaching all the classes I have each year (Pre-AP History, Regular U.S. History, and DCUSH). However, the dual credit classes allow me to have more in depth conversations about historical topics and their impact on America today,” Wood said.
In these weighted classes, students also have the opportunity to earn college credits. In AP classes, you must pass the AP exam and in dual credit classes you must receive a C or higher to get the credit. Wood elaborated on this opportunity for students.
“If students take enough weighted classes, students can actually earn enough college credits to have the equivalent of a semester or two done of college before they even start. This is an awesome opportunity,” Wood said.
Many students have been involved in weighted classes throughout their whole high school career. Junior Mary Presley explained how taking many weighted classes has helped her.
“The classes have been beneficial to give me exposure to many college classes. I do recommend these classes to other students because it will prepare you for college and also save you time and money in college if you receive dual credit,” Presley said.
Weighted classes can give students opportunity to earn college credits, prepare them for college classes, and also boost their GPA. All of these courses are available to any student, so anyone interested can speak with their counselor.