Family Resources on School Connections

Lesson Topic

Students will practice figuring a GPA and discuss what others can learn about the academic achievements a GPA represents.

Essential Question

How do I figure a GPA and why is it important?

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School Connections – George/Ingrid

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about how grade point averages are used and how a strong feeling of connection with an adult is a protective factor for completing high school. In class students discussed the importance of completing high school and why a GPA is important. In groups students compared the academic record of fictional students and learned about how academic judgements are made.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

The video for this module features two different youths, Ingrid and George. Both temporarily dropped out of high school, but with support returned to school successfully.

Conversation notes:
Some students do not complete high school for a variety of reasons, including taking care of an ill family member, homelessness, and food insecurity to name a very few. Students who complete high school tend to have parents and adult mentors that encourage academic achievement and a feeling of belonging within a school culture.

Kent Pekel, president of Search Institute article on school connection:

PACER Center school dropout prevention resource list:

The National Dropout Prevention Center provides resources mainly for educators, but some
parents and mentors may be interested:

Constructive Conversation Starters

The first item is for follow-up after viewing the lesson video and participating in class activities.

Tell us about one of the two students featured in the video (Ingrid or George). Why did this student stop going to school? Why did this student return to school? What does this tell us about the reason why a student might drop out of high school? Do you think a student’s grade point average reflects interest or motivation in school? Why or why not?

Describe some of the factors or reasons why a student would stop attending school without graduating. Are any of these concerns for our family? Are there any actions we need to take to provide additional support for you to stay in school? Why or why not?

Is school attendance a problem in our neighborhood or community? Describe why using examples. Even if this is not a problem for us/our neighborhood, what are some actions that we could take that would help more students stay connected at school? Develop a plan and take action.

School to Home Resources on School Connections

Lesson Plan

A good GPA is important

Take a look at this blog post from California State University. Besides understanding how to calculate your GPA, the post also offers several reasons why your GPA is important. Of the reasons listed, what are the two most important for you? Why are these most important in your personal situation?

There are adults in your school willing to help

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George says, “I was good friends with the principal, he was glad to see me back-he gave me the biggest handshake I had ever had before”. Why do you think the having a handshake from the principal mattered to George? Why do you think the principal cared if George came back to school or not? You may or may not be able to develop a great relationship with every teacher, but what steps can you take to make sure that there are at least a couple of school staff members who are glad to see you at school every day?

Reaching post-secondary goals

Ingrid says, “I managed to graduate with like a 2.5… and right now I’m going to college”. Ingrid did not have a terrific GPA, but she still was able to follow her dreams and go to college. What do you think Ingrid has done to be successful? Despite her success, do you think she limited her options by missing a lot of school during her 9th and 10th grade years? Why do you say so? What steps can you take to give yourself the most choices when you graduate high school?

A good GPA helps increase opportunities

Look at this article from the Georgia Futures website. What are the advantages of a higher GPA? What steps should you take in order to help yourself have a higher GPA and plenty of options when you graduate from high school?

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