Most courses in the Lower Merion School District Program Planning Guide are taught at more than one level of difficulty to provide an appropriate challenge for students. The symbols listed below are used throughout the Program Planning Guide.
|College Preparatory||(No Symbol)|
Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated at the end of each school year using only final grades in the five major academic areas: English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages. Honors, AP, and IB level courses are calculated in a weighted 5.0 scale, and College Preparatory courses are calculated on a 4.0 scale. GPA is reported on a weighted 5.0 scale.
|Grade||Unweighted College Prep||Weighted AP/IB/H|
College Preparatory (no symbol)
The college preparatory level applies to required and elective courses that are appropriate for students preparing for college. Expectations for achievement are maintained at a challenging level for the typical academic student. The grades in these courses are not weighted.
Courses designated honors level offer instruction and expectations that are maintained at a highly rigorous level. Honors level courses are weighted.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Courses designated Advanced Placement follow the specific curriculum guidelines of the College Board’s Advanced Placement Program. Advanced Placement serves students who wish to pursue college level studies while still in high school.
Students who elect AP courses must be dedicated to the increased work involved as College Board curricula and assessments are based on the level of thinking and the depth of knowledge expected from equivalent college courses. Students are expected to take the College Board’s Advanced Placement Exam at the end of an Advanced Placement course. AP level courses are weighted.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
The IB Diploma Program (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced program of education, with final examinations that prepare students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical well-being of students. The program, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities. Students are required to take end-of-course IB exams.