Aim for ‘A’

By: Carolina Velez

 Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - EducationIn just three weeks, CPS will open its doors September 6th to welcome students to the 2011-2012 school year. But before that happens, an important question to ask yourself is does my child have a space at home to study and do homework? Parents of high school students will most likely receive an agenda from their child’s school. It is important for your child to use their agenda to write down assignments, activities, and family events. This will help your child become organized and plan their time better.

What is your child’s GPA? GPA stands for grade point average and can be found on your student’s report card or transcript. In high school GPA is important because it will determine if your student will qualify for a certain college, scholarship, or internship. Students receive grades every semester and each letter grade is worth a certain point. An “A” is 4 points, “B” is 3 points, “C” is 2 points, “D” is 1 point, and “F” is 0 points. For example, if your student receives 2 A’s (8points) 2 B’s (6 points) and 2 C’s (4 points) total of 18 points divide this by the number of classes taken 6 = 3.0 GPA for the semester. This score is then added in with the rest of their previous grades resulting in their current GPA. As previously mentioned this can be found on the bottom of their report card. Ask your child what is their GPA, explain what GPA means, and how they can calculate their GPA. You child will most likely not know this because it is not taught. I asked my high school students if they knew what GPA was and 95 percent did not know or understand the number at the bottom of their report card.

Why is GPA important? GPA usually doesn’t become relevant until Junior and Senior year because this is when students begin to look at colleges and universities. Your child will then say, ‘I wish I would have known,’ or ‘I would have done better in my classes if I knew I needed a certain GPA to apply to a college/university.’ When your student applies to a college/university most will require at least a 3.0 GPA. ‘What if my child doesn’t have a 3.0 GPA?’ you may ask. Well, that is why it is important to understand GPA and begin to have these talks with your child and teachers. If your child’s grades go up their GPA will go up if their grades go down their GPA will go down. It is easier to go down then it is to go up. The highest GPA a student can have is a 4.0 which means the student has received all A’s. Once you and your child know their GPA, make a goal to increase that GPA. When your child receives their next report card see if their GPA has gone up or down.

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