New GPA Policy Changes the Game for Fine Arts

Marisol Orlina, Editor

In the Clear Creek Independent School District, policy states all fine arts classes, unless designated otherwise, are scaled at a 5.0, the lowest GPA level. This discourages students aiming for high GPAs from taking fine arts, even if they’re talented or passionate. Over the years, this pattern has been seen by both parents, instructors, and fellow fine art students. The drop out rate of fine arts has grown so much, individuals involved, like teachers and parents, have advocated for a GPA policy change.

This year, it was finally announced fine arts classes will no longer count towards GPA, but only for the incoming class of 2027. This change has been celebrated across the fine arts by teachers, parents, and incoming students. Unfortunately, current fine arts student will not share the same benefits, and students who rely on fine arts for their GPA will not have the transcript they anticipated.

Despite the decision being revolutionary, it’s bittersweet. If you ever visit the orchestra banners, you’ll notice a significant decline of students featured. Where’d they all go? Chasing GPAs. For students it can be difficult to balance an academic and extracurricular life.

“I could have applied for an officer position and maintained a higher GPA” sophomore flair Emma Qiao said, who expressed frustration with fine arts’ GPA limiting her opportunities. In contrast however, rather than staying in fine arts, the students that drop their fine arts offer a second perspective from the same opinion.

“I have a heavier course load now at the expense of a higher GPA,” former orchestra player Jason Sha said. Like Sha, students who drop their fine arts not only lose a creative class, but the fun experiences that come with it such as the Disney trip or performances. Still, the classes that have missed this change recognize its importance, and are grateful despite being a few years short.

“Orchestra and band are going to have great incoming classes,” sophomore Amelie Nguyen said.

It’s unfortunate classes before that of 2027 will be missing this opportunistic decision, but it’s a beam of light for future fine arts performances and classes.

The students who tend to drop their fine arts are those who put in the most effort. Now, giving them the chance to balance academic and extracurricular activities should be a motive for continuing in the fine arts.

However, one of the more worrying effects this change might bring is how it will affect artistically inclined students.

“If fine arts GPA no longer counts, the students who rely on their fine arts classes will be at a disadvantage,” Señora Guevara said.

Although CCISD students, parents, and teachers are excited for the change, Guevara expresses an important perspective of whether the student body’s varying GPA expectations will be satisfied by the new fine arts policy, and if not, what solution could meet the needs of the thousands of high schoolers passing through Clear Creek education.