Academics have always been a priority at The Gregory School, while the athletic and extracurricular programs also offered at the school normally take second place.

However,  the current grade point average (GPA) requirement for participation in extracurricular activities is very low. Students must maintain a C (2.0) GPA average, with no semester grades of an F to participate in extracurricular activities.

While it is a lot to handle with school and extracurriculars  it should be seen as an opportunity to learn organizational skills. Vic Acuna said, “It takes a lot to do what TGS students do. It takes a lot of organization. The last thing we wanted to do was  punish the people that are juggling so much.”

There is going to be an element of trial and error, but with the correct motivation to do better in school in order to participate in extracurricular activities may end up helping students. However, with a low GPA requirement the students don’t have the motivation to do better.

Acuna defended the requirement, saying, “This seemed like a decent range to do that, so if somebody fell below a 2.0 than we had a pretty serious issue. It doesn’t mean that we are saying just get a 2.0. We didn’t want to set it at a point where people would be getting punished.”

Students should be pushed to strive for the best rather than being allowed to do worse or fall below the bare minimum. The Gregory School has always expected a higher standard on academics.

Kevin Rolle said, “I know a lot of my colleagues don’t agree with me, but we need a higher standard on that. I think we should have a higher expectation of our students.” Rolle believes a higher GPA requirement would encourage students to aim for bigger goals.

Rolle suggests a GPA requirement closer to a C+ (2.3). The GPA requirement before the change to the 2.0 was a 2.3. The change in the GPA had happened a while back, but it was still a big step to lower an already low GPA requirement. Deciding the correct GPA does get tough for both sides.

Unfortunately, keeping both academic and extracurricular interests in mind can be a balancing act. Rolle said, “It does get tough especially if you have a team and your key player is ineligible then both parties get hurt, and the same goes for school plays.”

If we follow the precedent set by the student handbook academics are inevitably the first priority of the school, even over extracurriculars.

Every time you make a decision to do one thing you also are making a conscious decision to not do the other. This is when it becomes important to spend the right amount of time on one thing rather than the other and sometimes you may need help deciding what is more important.

A low GPA requirement may make it easier to focus more on the extracurricular activities.

It remains a goal of The Gregory School to motivate students to succeed even in areas that don’t mean as much to them as extracurriculars. Their motivation can come from wanting to participate in extracurricular activities.

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