Sophomores this year at Oak Grove High School will have a new option when deciding what classes they will enroll in for next fall.

Sophomores this year at Oak Grove High School will have a new option when deciding what classes they will enroll in for next fall.

The Oak Grove Board of Education approved offering weighted classes at the high school beginning with the class of 2012, or students who will be juniors next year.

“I know this is an important issue, so I truly appreciate the time that was put into making this decision,” said board president Sue Alexander. “There was time to research what was best for our students and come up with a good plan. I think this is it.”

To begin with, two classes in each of the four core areas will be offered as weighted courses. More could be added later. Weighted courses have additional point values and are on a five-point scale versus a four-point scale.

This means an “A” would be worth five points in a weighted class compared to four in a traditional class.

Randy McClain, principal at Oak Grove High School, said the purpose is to encourage more students to take rigorous courses.

“Our hope is that this will help to improve our students ACT scores as well as their grades,” he said. “We also hope this improves their chances to be successful in college.”

Weighted classes to be offered next fall include English – Dual Credit, English – College Prep, Advanced Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, Calculus, College Algebra and History 111 and History 112, both previously known as Recent American History.

McClain said if weighted classes had been offered in the past, it not only would have moved some students higher in class rank, but also would have affected the outcome of the valedictorian and salutatorian selection.

“All I will say is that weighted classes would have had an impact on previous valedictorian and salutatorian,” he sad. “I think these classes will more clearly separate our top two students and will be a benefit to everyone at Oak Grove High School.”