RICHMOND, Va -- High school senior Shavae Ward plays tennis and volleyball, works three jobs and hasn't missed a day of school in her entire student career. To boot, her grades have always been the cream of the crop.
The Open High School student said she realized midway through her junior year that her number one ranking had dipped to fourth, but she couldn't figure out why. So she and her parents delved deep into the details and took what they found to the school system.
"It has definitely been a long journey worth fighting for," Ward said.
She discovered that her GPA had miscalculated, and that Richmond students weren't getting enough points for dual enrollment classes and International Baccalaureate courses. Ward joined other students and parents who vowed to hold Richmond Public School officials accountable for correcting the situation.
Ward had a 4.26 and it moved up to a 4.91. The correction put her back on top as co-valedictorian.
"To really be number one in my class is something that I've always wanted to do," Ward said. "Just to know that I actually worked hard for it and achieved my goal means a lot to me."
On Tuesday afternoon, Mylahn Parsons got her revised GPA calculation and hers also went up.
"I'm happy but as far as how much money I could have gotten from the school that I applied to, it would be nice to know if I missed out," Parsons said.
"In high school GPA isn't as important to you, but to colleges it really is, so yes, as a parent I'd be bummed," said Tess Einstein.
An apology letter from Superintendent Jason Kamras went to parents, informing them that they would adjust GPAs and class rankings.
"On behalf of RPS, I want to apologize to any students (and their families) for the frustration this issue has caused," Kamras said. "These kinds of errors are simply unacceptable. RPS must do better and it will. To ensure that issued like this do not occur again, I have called for a complete review of our program of study handbook to ensure that it is 100% aligned with Board policies."