Principal’s Post – April 27, 2016

Dear HPCS Parent,

I’d like to discuss two items that have been in the news in recent weeks and how we’re responding here at HPCS. I’d also like to remind any families who haven’t yet registered for next year that the April Early Bird Registration ends this Friday, so if you plan to enroll for next year, you’ll want to do so before the weekend in order to save money on the registration fee to hold your child’s spot for next year.

Change to 10-Point Grading Scale

You may have seen that the South Carolina Department of Education just mandated a change in the SC Uniform Grading Scale all state public schools use. The current scale is a 7-point scale, while the new one is a 10-point scale. HPCS has used the state scale for many years, and I think it was a wise choice for a number of reasons. This change to the scale gave us opportunity to evaluate whether or not we wanted to continue with the SC uniform scale in the new format or continue using the one we’ve become accustomed to.

This same change is one I was involved in at the university where I worked prior to coming to HPCS, so I’d already done quite a bit of research on the pros and cons of switching from the 7- to 10-point scale. I personally believe it is best for HP to make the move to the 10-point scale and continue matching the SC Uniform Grading Scale.

The chief argument from SCDE is that this will level the playing field for South Carolina students competing for admission and scholarships with students from other stuates using the 10-point scale. I think this is a valid argument and will be a big help for a number of students and their families. Another, lesser, reason to make the move is that the 10-point scale it just that much easier to understand for teachers, parents, and students. The main argument against the 10-point scale is that it may lower academic rigor; however, research indicates this does not tend to occur in schools making the change from the narrower to the broader scale–the opposite is actually more likely to occur.

So, after discussion with the faculty and a unanimous vote by the school board, HPCS will adopt the 10-point scale school-wide starting with the 2016/2017 school year. All current and past grades (which have been converted over to GPA) will not be affected, and GPAs from the old scale will simply be averaged with GPAs from the new scale into the future.

School Uniform Purchases from Tommy Hilfiger

A few weeks back, you may have seen a story about Land’s End supporting an abortion rights advocate in their publications and committing to donate a portion of their profits to an abortion advocacy group. After an outcry from the numerous religious schools who purchase uniforms from Land’s End, they pulled the article, but as far as I know never clarified whether or not they plan to continue with planned financial support for the abortion group. Since we utilize Land’s End for uniform purchases, this may have created tension for you regarding purchasing uniforms from them for school.

This is a touchy area to be sure, and how you choose to support any number of businesses with your dollars is an intensely personal decision (consider the recent #takepride campaign at Target supporting the LGBT cause). So, I’m happy to announce that beginning in June, families will be able to purchase school uniforms from Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy is rolling out a new school uniform division, and HPCS will be one of the inaugural schools participating in their online store.

In our opinion, after having seen several samples, Tommy clothes are arguably better made with more fabric choices and all Scotch-guarded (moms rejoice!). Tommy also promises to sell at better prices and with better customer service than Land’s End. So this will give you what we believe could be a very attractive alternative to Land’s End. You may continue to purchase uniforms from Land’s End, but you’ll soon have an alternative in Tommy Hilfiger. We’ll let you know when our Tommy online store rolls out in June, and you can let us know your thoughts on your experience with them going forward.

Kevin

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