By Ethan Tan
On May 1, Gabrielino High School Principal Sharron Heinrich sent an email to all parents indicating that the school will reverse its initial decision regarding scrutinizing all off-site summer classes to the original policy of accepting all classes for credit, including University of California A-G approved courses. However, because UC A-G courses are needed for college admission, all classes need to be from WASC accredited schools.
Originally, the administration, along with the San Gabriel Unified School District, sent an unsigned email to all parents noting that the school would no longer give A-G credit on student transcripts for off-site summer classes like APEX online, Options for Youth, and other nontraditional schools, as the UC High School Articulation classified them as independent study courses. As a result of this designation by the UC, Gabrielino would still list these classes on students’ official transcripts and offer graduation credit, but the “P” denoting college prep would be removed.
Heinrich explained that, “After receiving information from the UC system in March about independent study [and online courses taken at nontraditional schools], I shared the information with District administration. District and school administration decided it was [important to] make parents aware of the information received.”
After numerous emails and phone calls from parents to the administration regarding the first email, District and school administration sent another letter via email the following week to clarify the A-G designation for courses taken at nontraditional schools. The second letter explained that, per UC, independent study courses are not classroom based courses, and therefore, the “principal cannot certify these courses as A-G approved.”
The night before the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting on May 2, Principal Heinrich signed a letter sent via email to all parents stating that the staff had conducted additional research and had verified with Options for Youth that their courses “meet the Institutional Requirements of an Independent Study School as set forth by the University of California.” The letter stated that transcript designations would revert back to the original policy of accepting courses and designating a “P” for college prep courses.
Despite this, numerous parents expressed their discontent about the actions of the administration at the PTSA meeting. After Principal Heinrich explained the reasons behind the school’s actions, parents asked her questions about why the administration sent emails out with incomplete information, as it startled Gabrielino families and made parents and students re-plan academic courses.
Principal Heinrich explained that they, “sent the emails with the best interest of students in mind because [they] did not want families to be surprised if credits were not accepted.”
A few parents requested an apology be issued by the school, but Principal Heinrich noted that there would be no apology issued officially, as the administration would not apologize for looking out for the students’ best interests.
Principal Heinrich reminded parents that the three letters that were sent were in no way related to Gabrielino’s proposed summer credit policy that would have limited the amount of credits a student could earn through summer courses.