Parents discover RPS transcript error impacting students’ GPA

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond family is expressing concern after they discovered a transcript error impacting their children’s high school GPA.

Cheryl and Scott Lage have twins attending Richmond Public Schools. When they were looking at their transcripts side by side, they realized their daughter’s transcript showed a high school level Spanish class she took in middle school was being calculated into her overall grade point average. Their son took the same class, but it was nowhere to be found on his transcript.

A student’s GPA can impact everything from graduation to class rank to getting into college.

“It also affects scholarship applications,” says S. Lage

The mistake has been corrected, but it’s left them with questions.

“How many people have errors but don’t realize they have errors?” C. Lage wonders. “I mean, we have two, so we can actually compare.”

It’s not the first time Richmond Public Schools has had problems with transcripts. In 2018 and 2019, transcript errors resulted in lower GPAs and late graduations for some students. 8News reached out to RPS about this latest mistake and we were told in a statement:

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Richmond Public Schools (RPS) recently completed an audit of junior and senior transcripts per new protocols we put in place last year. That audit confirmed that the systemic errors of the past have been corrected”

Richmond Public Schools

“But they didn’t catch our error,” said C. Lage.

And that’s not all. The Lage’s were surprised to even see their children’s middle school grades factored into their GPA. In 2018, RPS modified its policy to no longer include high school courses taken in middle school in the calculation of GPAs and class rank.

RPS has since told the parents, juniors and seniors were not grandfathered in.

“Basically you got juniors and seniors who are caught in the middle of this, where their middle school grades count and the freshman and sophomores don’t,” S. Lage said.

Richmond School Board Chairwoman Linda Owen told 8News the policy negatively impacts some students and positively impacts others.

“So we said, well then let the kids pick,” S. Lage explained.

The Lage’s see it as similar to allowing students to pick their higher SAT score. Meantime, they’re calling on school leaders to review these transcripts before it’s too late.

“I love to see a full audit. I think every student deserves a fair and accurate representation of their grade,” said S. Lage.

Owen also said there are always going to be some kind of minor errors or hiccups with transcripts. RPS told 8News that policy around calculating middle school grades will be discussed at the school board’s next meeting on March 16.

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