Ruthie argues that a disabled GPA decreases student stress

Ruthie Pierson, News Section Editor

For many CHS students, a majority of their lives are spent stressing about grades. Obsessively checking their grades and GPA on PowerSchool becomes a daily routine for these students.

So, when the message “GPA Disabled” popped up on PowerSchool a few weeks ago, everyone was shocked. While some feel disabling GPA was the wrong decision, it can bring many benefits to students.

As CHS counselor Joyce Bell notes, “The GPA students were seeing was not an accurate representation of their GPA.” Grades and GPAs are not finalized until the end of a semester, and are cumulative with GPAs from previous years, so having an ongoing, progressive GPA is almost pointless. “GPAs are not meant to, and should not, fluctuate,” Bell said.

Constantly checking their GPA and being alerted the second it changes can cause high stress levels in students. Students have become obsessive over their GPA, checking it the second they got a notification.

This causes a high-stress environment that can have a negative impact on a student’s mental health.

“That Pavlovian mindset of a bell rings and I check my GPA is not healthy,” Bell said. “If we create a culture of learning first and checking grades second, this can help to relieve some of the stress.”

While a majority of our culture is focused on numbers, grades and awards, our goals should be aimed towards learning and improving our society.

When students are notified each time a grade goes into PowerSchool and their GPA changes, stress levels go up and students are constantly thinking about their GPA. Eliminating a visible GPA to students between semesters can help to reduce some of this stress.

Another reason disabling GPA is beneficial, is because colleges use GPAs in varied and different ways. While colleges do use GPAs as a major factor in their selection process, “Colleges calculate GPA on their own, so each school’s individual system doesn’t matter as much,” sophomore Julia Bautz said.

And, as Mrs. Bell noted, students were sending in their current GPAs for schools and academic programs. These GPAs are not accurate. Each school has a unique system for calculating and weighting GPA and grades, which are not finalized until a student’s semester transcript is finalized. Eliminating GPA in between semesters can help make students happier and healthier.