Seventy seniors received a GPA of 4.25 or above, the highest number of students to qualify for this grade bracket in the past decade.
The number of students in this group of the graduating class of 2019 shows an upward trend: 50 seniors were acknowledged last year.
This record can be attributed to a variety of things, including the possibility of students taking more weighted classes, Head of Upper School Laura Ross said.
“I think it’s an interesting question to ask if they are [achieving this record] in the same number of weighted classes and scoring higher, or if more people are taking more weighted classes because both of those paint a different picture,” Ross said. “It certainly means that by any measure, they are a pretty accomplished class.”
Ross hopes that the administration’s newly implemented policy to remove the weighted GPA for AP and honors courses starting with the Class of 2022 will encourage students to choose classes according to their interests, rather than the grade boosts they will receive.
“I’ve certainly heard students say ‘I have to take that class because I need the bump,’ but the rigor of program is still going to be a critical element of what students do,” Ross said. “It will be interesting to see if people start making really different choices or not, but we are still going to be advising people to challenge themselves to the top of their ability in their areas of interest.”
Many seniors have also reflected on the change.
“I’ve known since 7th grade that my class is really excellent academically,” Meera Sastry ’19 said.
Sastry said that while this change may affect college admissions, she isn’t worried.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to end up being severely short changed because they were part of a high-achieving class,” Sastry said. “It’s not going to be a fun senior year if we’re so worried about our friends being better than us. instead of just enjoying [their] company. [We came here] to be surrounded by a community of talented, skilled and very passionate classmates, and this is just really a reflection of that.”