Last year, Champlin Park High School rolled out a new grading option.
In honors level, elective courses, students can apply for “P-option” grading.
Unlike traditional pass/fail grades, students can still earn letter grades: Students can choose between an A, B, P or F grading scale and an A, B, C, P, F scale.
“It’s intended to encourage our students to think high, but at the same time take some of the pressure off,” said Gerry Hegna, one of the assistant principals at CPHS.
In the past, the school saw some students shy away from honors level courses that could really benefit them because they were afraid of getting poor grades, according to Hegna.
Now, “they’re all working for As or Bs, but if it doesn’t happen, there’s a little bit of an out,” Hegna said.
The disadvantage is that high-powered colleges and universities – Hegna listed Carleton and Harvard as examples – might frown on “P” marks.
If one earns a “P,” it has no effect on his or her GPA.
Communication between students, parents and counselors is critical to gauge whether the P-option is the right one.
Hegna estimates that five students take advantage of the P-option each trimester, if that.
The deadline to apply for a “P option” grade is three weeks into the trimester. The deadline for trimester two is Dec. 20 and April 4 for trimester three.
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