Laurence announces Physics H not UC, CSU weighted

Paige Esterly, Author

Students in Physics Honors will be given the opportunity to drop down a lane to Physics 1 after receiving an email from Assistant Principal Kathie Laurence stating that Palo Alto High School’s Physics Honors class will not be granted University of California and California State University honors credit, as had been expected.

Laurence’s announcement reassured students that, if they so chose, they could drop down into Physics 1, the lower of Paly’s two basic physics classes. She promised that the administration will fit students that choose to drop the higher class into open slots of Physics 1.

Laurence’s email was greeted with displeasure from the students currently enrolled in the class.

“I’m frustrated because I signed up thinking it would be weighted, so it was annoying to find out it isn’t later in the year,” junior Karina Goot , a Physics H student, said.

Goot is thankful for the opportunity to drop lanes, although she does not intend to make use of it.

“I think it’s a good thing the administration is letting people change into regular physics,” she said. “But I don’t think I will drop because the difference in the material covered is substantial.”

This incident is similar to the controversy over American Classics Honors, which was listed as a UC and CSU weighted course last year, but was later discovered not to have carried the weighed grade it promised.

More information to come. 

Below is a copy of the email received by students today regarding the change.

“Dear _____________,

 We would like to reiterate what you were told during class today.  The Physics H course was approved as an honors course for the UC and CSU, but without the weighted grade.

 We understand that this news will be frustrating for some students.  The workload for the Physics H class has remained the same as it was for Physics 1A last year.  None of the changes we anticipated, as we moved from offering Physics 1A to Physics H course, will be implemented this year.  We hope knowing this information will allow you to feel comfortable continuing and completing your year of physics in the Physics H course.  However, after careful consideration, should you not want to continue in Physics H, we do have openings in several periods of Physics 1 and a lane change will be approved up until Thanksgiving Break (November 20).  We strongly encourage you to continue in Physics H, even though it does not carry the weighted credit for your GPA (UC/CSU only), as it is recognized by colleges as being a much more accelerated course than the Physics course we offer.

 If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected]


Kathie Laurence

Assistant Principal

Palo Alto High School”