Please provide your feedback on class rank.
At the request of the School Board and based on feedback from members of the community, VBCPS is considering an enhanced way to recognize students’ academic achievement that moves beyond the traditional class rank and mirrors more closely the way most colleges signify academic success.
A change such as this would require a revision to School Board policy and regulation. Before moving forward, the School Board would like to receive input from VBCPS students and their parents to help shape their decision making. Any new system, if approved by the School Board, would begin with the graduating class of 2022 (current 8th grade students).
The proposed recognition system is based on Latin honors used to indicate the level of distinction earned by a student. Beginning with graduating class of 2022 (current 8th grade students), VBCPS plans to recognize the following designations based on the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) when graduating from high school:
- All graduates earning a 3.0 GPA are designated Honor Graduates
- All graduates earning a 3.5 GPA are awarded the Cum Laude designation
- All graduates earning a 3.76 GPA are awarded the Magna Cum Laude designation
- All graduates earning a 4.0 GPA are awarded the Summa Cum Laude designation
So why the proposed change?
Weighted credit courses, including Advanced Placement classes which are open to all students, offer the potential for a student to earn greater than a 4.0 for a course. Students enrolled in International Baccalaureate (IB), academy and advanced academic programs also have access to additional weighted courses which, by nature of the specialized program, are not open to all students. In the past, some students and parents have expressed concerns that this creates an imbalance in the traditional class ranking system.
Also, high school principals who have reviewed current practices and class rank data unanimously support a move to the Latin system, in part, because the difference in class rank between some students has been determined by only .001 point. To see what the Latin system might look like in VBCPS, please review this GPA data for the division’s Class of 2016 and Class of 2017.
Understandably, this may generate questions with regard to the potential impact on a student’s college application process. Research conducted on this topic shows that colleges and universities place a strong weight on the student’s academic course work and the grades earned in those courses. Much less weight is placed on a student’s class rank. If, however, a college or scholarship application requires information beyond a student’s GPA, high schools would have the ability to report a student’s class standing by percentile.
Feedback on this topic is appreciated and will be reviewed by the School Board.
This topic has 2688 visitors and 633 responses.
That's 31.7 hours of public comment @ 3 minutes per response.