Class Rank Changes


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What could be more frustrating than for a student to discover that they were only a few points away from becoming one of the top ten in their class, or even valedictorian?  Would they not certainly feel defeat and sorrow for the hours of relentless work they put into receiving the level they had maintained, only to be knocked back a place or so due to possibly one singular assignment that ceased to be perfect?  There is good news: This hindering predicament may soon change!
As of right now, FHS is using the traditional class ranking system, which involves the competition of comparing one student to another based on grades and assigning them a number signifying their rank in their class.  This system involves the idea of having a valedictorian, solutitorian, top ten, etc. FHS is using a weighted class ranking system, meaning that even if you score a high grade in a low-level class, scoring a lower grade in a high-level class is superior.  Although on the outside this system seems fair and sensible, this method has actually been proven to cause quite a bit of stress and anxiety, along with the more pressing fact that it is not overly effective.
According to this website, called “Great Schools Partnership”, the Latin Honor System is a  better way to rank classes due to the fact that it helps kids work harder and reduces stress.  Furthermore, this system recognizes the students who put in hard work over time, not a student that just gets a lucky high score on a test.  The Latin Honor System recognizes and praises more students, thus giving them more motivation and inspiration to achieve what they want. Plus, it’s believed that this method is more fair and reasonable due to the regular class ranking system excluding some students only a fraction of a point away from being ranked in the top ten, while the Latin Honor System honors a large spectrum of students, applauding them all for their hard work and dedication.  Finally, and maybe even the most persuading, the Latin Honor System is more familiar to universities and colleges, along with simply the public in general. It makes since and is agreeable.
When Alex Lawson, a senior this year, was asked about what he thought about the Latin Honor System taking place, he responded: “I think it is healthy for higher achieving students.”  
When inquired about if he was at all upset that this system will not be in session when he graduates, Alex said: “No, because I benefit from the class rank system.”  
Finally, Alex was asked: “On a scale of one to ten, one being ‘no way’ and ten being ‘absolutely’, how much do you like this new idea?”  He answered: “Eight.”
Next, freshman Sophia Bond was interviewed over her opinions of the incorporation of this method.  
“What do you think about the possibility of the Latin Honor System taking place?” she was asked.  “I think it sounds better than having ten people win, especially with colleges because that helps a lot of people out,” she said.
She was then asked if she was at all upset that the Latin Honor System may not be session when she graduates.  She responded: “I wouldn’t cry, but I would rather graduate with the Latin Honor System.”
Lastly, Sophia was questioned: “On a scale of one to ten, one being ‘no way’ and ten being ‘absolutely’, how much do you like this new idea?”  She then answered: “Nine.”
The last person to be interviewed was Doctor Reeves, as he was very knowledgeable about the topic and clarified how the Latin Honor System would work at FHS.  
“Is it true that there has been serious thought put in to the idea of getting rid of the class rank system and using the Latin Honor System, or is it just more of an idea still floating around?” was his initial question.  He explained that nothing has been approved by the school board yet. “Nothing is official yet,” he said. “…ultimately it’s the school board that has to make the decision.” He hopes to have a proposal to the board meeting in January.
He was then asked: “How does the Latin Honor System work, and what is the criteria for the three levels of the the Latin Honor System?”  He responded that is takes weighted grades into account. The levels are, (in order of superiority), Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude.  A person needs to have a five to five and a half cumulative GPA. They also must have 100 community service hours, and 30 hours of internship. Furthermore, he went on how colleges use this system, and that more high schools are going to it.  “It’s less competing with other people, and more with yourself.”
Doctor Reeves was then asked what brought him the idea of incorporating this new solution to FHS.  He talked about how it seemed like the last couple of years students were having increased anxiety.  Sometimes students take 20 hours of college classes and then have other activities. He explained that with the Latin Honor System, it’s not so much that a person is trying to get a high place.  A student also needs to know that 100 hours of service is an important component. “They teach you a lot,” he said. “Life isn’t just about you, it’s about helping other people.” He then continued, “The 30 hour internship gives you an idea of what you want to do.  You may learn what you love, and you may learn what you don’t love.” Then he said: “A lot of schools are going away from class rank because they want to see service and experience.”
“Why is the Latin Honor System a good idea?” he was questioned.  He responded: “It focuses more on the whole person.” It involves service, academics, job, and career training, he described.  It also recognizes more students.
“Describe the process of getting this approved.”  He answered: “The first step was to write a draft.”  He said that people were supportive. Then he explained that they have to write a formal composal.  “It will be up to the board to decide the process.”
When asked how soon he thought this method will be enabled, if at all, he said, “Ideally it would be in place for the 2019-2020 school year.”
All in all, it sounds like there is a lot of potential for the FHS class ranking system to be altered.  Although the new method will be very different, it’s proven to have prominent positive effects. Hopefully, this system will bring out the best in FHS students and reap good feedback.  Moreover, wouldn’t the student mentioned at the beginning of this article feel so much happier and complete?