WHITTIER – The Whittier Union High School District has changed the way it determines honors students’ grade-point averages, a move meant to align the district with the way the UC and CSU systems operate.The positive side, district officials say, is that students will get a more realistic view of their academic competitiveness when it comes time to apply for college.The downside is that students will no longer earn extra grade points for taking the more difficult honors courses in ninth and 10th grades.Previously, high school students taking honors courses were given an extra point for earning a C or better. Essentially, their scores were bumped up one grade.The problem was that UC and CSU colleges do not add the extra points when they calculate GPAs for their applicants.“We want our students to have the best possible chance of gaining acceptance to colleges and universities, so our students need to have a clear picture of their academic record,” said Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson.“By realigning our GPA calculation with the UC system’s formula, we give our students the opportunity to really see how they measure up against college entrance requirements and their peers outside (the district),” Thorstenson said.Aside from giving no extra credit for freshman and sophomore honors courses, the new GPA calculation gives extra weight to only certain honors courses in the 11th and 12th grades.Some parents are not happy with the changes.“I don’t agree with this,” said Anna Grossman, whose 14-year-old son Kristopher is a freshman at California High School and is currently taking honors algebra and biology.“These kids work so hard, and they should get credit for all four years of honors courses,” she added.District officials had held parent meetings in recent weeks to explain the new GPA calculation, which took effect this school year.But school board President Jeff Baird said there was relatively little discussion among the panel before it unanimously voted for the new GPA calculation.“The decision was made for us by the UC and CSU systems. We’re just aligning ourselves with them,” Baird said.“I would be fine with giving students the weighted grades if these universities honored them, but that doesn’t seem to make sense,” Baird added.Even without the extra grade points, Grossman said the new GPA policy will not keep her from encouraging her son to take honors courses.“In middle school, he had a 4.0 GPA and he needed a challenge,” Grossman said. “This is his chance to get something going for himself. Even though the classes are a challenge, he loves it.” [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!