(L-R) Members of the CHS Zero Robotics team Chau Dao, Nathan Shuster, Sam Rimm-Kaufman, Eliza Cohn, and Mary Stelow prepare for competition. The team is part of the student club BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds).

Starting in the 2014-15 school year, Albemarle County Public Schools will stop reporting class rankings to colleges and universities.

The Board voted unanimously at its last meeting to stop sending decile rankings to schools, but will continue to report them to military academies, as well as when needed for honors programs and scholarships.

The vote comes on the heels of parent complaints that argued that reporting decile ranks places competitive students who fall just outside of the top tier at a disadvantage when applying to selective schools.

In addition to the vote to end reporting next year, the Board heard from Albemarle County parent and former college admissions officer Fred Smyth, who criticized how the division calculates GPA.

Smyth said many students take challenging but unweighted electives, and thus earn lower GPAs than students who opt for seven classes and one study hall. Doing so makes it possible for a student taking fewer graded courses to earn a higher GPA.

Board Member Eric Strucko said that’s a concern, since the School Board adopted the eight-period day to encourage students to take more courses, and the current system could send a false impression of student achievement to colleges.

Others said they didn’t see a need to change the rules, and a motion by Strucko to explore reworking the calculation process failed three to four.

Board Chair Steve Koleszar said admissions officers should be able to determine which students challenged themselves the most, and questioned the need to spend staff time on GPA.

“I think in reality that even though this person might have a lower GPA, it’s a more robust schedule to have the additional electives, and that will make them a stronger applicant,” he said.

Read the full story herehttp://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/16570-albemarle-class-rank-gpa/

Chinese education delegates visit Charlottesville

Last week, Charlottesville-based student travel company WorldStrides welcomed 15 education and government leaders from China. The stay wrapped up the delegation’s five-day tour, which included attending the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s first conference in Washington, D.C.

Created in response to President Obama’s call for 100,000 Americans to study in China by the end of 2014, the Foundation aims to strengthen ties between the two nations. The Chinese leaders met with WorldStrides staff, and toured Charlottesville High School and Monticello during their visit.

“As part of two days of events including the 100,000 Strong Inaugural Conference in Washington, D.C., WorldStrides is honored to welcome a delegation of Chinese educators and administrators to Charlottesville, our company’s hometown,” CEO Jim Hall said. “As WorldStrides prepares for the May 2014 U.S.-China Student Summit in Beijing, we are thrilled to facilitate cultural exchange right here in Charlottesville.”

“We’re honored to host the delegation from China,” CHS Principal Jill Dahl said. “CHS teaches Mandarin and has sent students to China. One of the ideas we reinforce at CHS is that our students will participate in a global economy, so these visitors are proof of that concept.”