Is it really worth all the weight?


AP and Honors students are usually provided with a different textbook that has more knowledge on the subject. Taking away students option to excel in a subject they enjoy and challenge themselves would not give them anything to look forward to. “I chose to take the AP and honors classes because one they are weighted and two I enjoyed the subject and wanted to take me knowledge to the next level,” said White. Students enjoy being challenges and taking that away would be wrong.

Morgan Broadhurst, Staff Writer

High school has turned into a competition of who can take the hardest classes and get the least amount of sleep, while still holding up straight A’s. Students are constantly overwhelmed with the amount of work they are assigned to complete inside and outside of school, while also participating in sports and other extracurriculars to stay active. 

When the option of taking a class that weighs your grade is presented, do students take the class to have an advantage over their peers that only puts more stress on them, or do they take it because it acts as a comfort cushion to their grades? While students are all competing against each other to get into their dream schools, many argue the effect weighted classes have on your overall grade point average (GPA). 

Many schools, including Hollis-Brookline High School, offer weighted classes to sophomores, juniors, and seniors as a way to increase their GPA and set them up for a chance to obtain a GPA over 4.0. But as surrounding schools, such as Soueghan, are taking away this option from their students, HBHS has started to re-evaluate the significance of weighted classes and questions if they should continue to offer them to students. 

A “Weighted Class Committee” was formed at HBHS so that teachers, students, parents, and guidance counselors could talk about what would be the best choice to make for the students. “The point [of the weighted class committee] is to discuss whether or not having weighted classes is truly beneficial for us. There are some schools is our region that have changed or gotten rid of weighted classes. So it is just so we as a school can take a step back and evaluate what were doing to make sure it is the best option for everyone,” said Sam Shepard ‘22 who is an active participant in these meetings.

One of the main topics of discussion and questions that the committee is trying to answer is whether or not  the weighted classes the school offers is putting too much stress on the students. Students at HBHS have varying opinions on this topic.

From personal experience, taking an advanced placement (AP) class is harder than a typical accelerated class, but as a student, you make the choice to put yourself in that position. If it is too stressful a two week “add-drop” period is available if you decide that a class is going to be too hard or result in too much stress. Letting the students decide what classes they want to take can be stressful because they are always trying to match the skill level of their peers, but at the end of the day, it is all their decision resulting in any stress that comes from classes being too challenging to be their fault. 

“I think it is a good thing that our school offers weighted classes. It is smart to challenge our students and give them the opportunity to challenge and push themselves to take advanced classes. [Considering taking away AP classes] I think is only hurting the students who can and want to perform at a higher level. The school wouldn’t be giving the students the opportunity to show what they can do,”said Tasha White ‘20. 

On the contrary, Leah Leone 22’ said, “Because all different schools have their own different weighting system they [colleges] take the weighting system that the high-school used and reevaluate it on their own so therefore weighting grades now is pretty useless. Kids feel more inclined to take harder classes because they convinced themselves that they are weighted so its not that big of a deal but in reality its doesn’t really matter because more colleges weight it on their own scale.”

Taking an advanced placement or honors class and not even receive the credit for it in the long run only holds students back. Some see it as useless, while others think it sets them up for success and better prepares them for college. Taking away weighted classes would only decrease the academic level of our students at HBHS. Offering harder classes is only setting us as students up for success.