RPS says it miscalculated student GPAs

RPS says it miscalculated student GPAs
Richmond Public Schools discussed students' GPAs and the results of lead contamination at Monday's school board meeting. (Source: Richmond Public Schools)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Public Schools admitted several students had their GPA miscalculated on their transcripts.

School officials said they will issue corrections by next week, but that poses a problem for many students because some admissions deposits are due Tuesday.

Parents say RPS' mistake is costing their families financial aid, grants, and in some cases, students might not even be accepted into college.

"We do understand that it caused great heartache to children and to their families," RPS Interim Chief Academic Officer, Vickie Oakley, said.

RPS grades on the traditional four-point scale, but students who take dual enrollment or International Baccalaureate classes should earn six points for an A. Instead, those students were awarded a five.

Betsy Milburn was one of the first parents to notice the mistake. She said she caught it in the fall ,and says RPS told her they'd fix her son's transcript so he could apply for college and the money to pay for it.

But last month, Milburn was with her son discussing credits that would transfer and noticed several mistakes.

"Fast forward to March 24 when my son and I are at a university looking at his transcript," Milburn said.  "We learned the transcript was highly inaccurate. It had not been updated like we had requested, did not have classes on it, did have credits, did not even have grades on it."

Milburn says her son will be alright, but RPS acknowledges it has no idea how deep the problem goes. Milburn estimates hundreds of students won't be so fortunate when applying for college.

At Monday's school board meeting, it was a student representative who explained why RPS' effort to fix the problem was too little, too late.

"Admissions deposits are due tomorrow to note that you are actually attending that school, and if you don't pay your deposit you won't go to school in the fall of 2018," Tra'elle Hansom told the room.

Superintendent Jason Kamras says this is unacceptable and is apologizing, though this problem started and took place before he got to town.

However, that might not matter for hundreds of Richmond kids hoping to go to college.

"Some schools have said, 'we're sorry, we can't do anything - it's too late,'" Kay Bollen said.

Bollen is the Open High School PTSA president, and said families are out money and opportunity.

"And students could be potentially not going to school because they're not getting the funding they should have and there are other students who are taking on more debt," Bollen said.

Parents, if you think RPS might've messed up your child's grades email GPA@RVAschools.net and RPS will get in touch with you.

Also at the meeting Monday, RPS put together a renaming team for J.E.B. Stuart Elementary. Support for a change has already been expressed by Kamras Richmond mayor Levar Stoney.

The school board will also host several public meetings on the name change, and is expected to vote June 18.

"It's important that our students have a school name that inspires them - not one that may drive fear or uncertainty," said Richmond School Board member Scott Barlow. "We need to be sending a message to our community, and to our students, in particular, that diversity and inclusiveness are values of ours."

About 95 percent of J.E.B. Stuart's students are African American.

On Tuesday, VCU issued a statement on the issue:

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