District grapples with class ranking policy

Policy 9742 has been a challenge for the Warren County School District.

What’s policy 9742? The one that sets policy for class rank.

Issues regarding class rank have posed unique situations and challenges over the last several years, especially once the district incorporated dual-enrollment programs, particularly through St. Bonaventure, into the equation.

Part of the equation in solving the problem has been limiting attendance area transfers but the class rank issue is still floating out there.

In an attempt to clear that up, district administration brought a survey to the board last Monday in an attempt to gather the board’s perspective on the issue.

Acting Superintendent Amy Stewart explained that the review will require that the district examine what it wants the term “valedictorian” to mean.

Under current policy, students who were in the district for their senior year and earned a minimum of six credits during that year or were full-time students during their junior year and completed their graduation requirements with the completion of fewer than six credits during their senior year are eligible for scholastic recognition.

While the results of the survey, and the formation of the policy, will occur in the coming months, Stewart laid out administration’s recommendation on the issue.

Administration recommended a break from standing policy, which would include that students must be full-time students during their entire junior and senior years

On the ranking system, administration recommended a traditional, linear ranking with Valedictorian finishing first. Other potential options listed for the board include a Latin honors system as well as a ranking system in which all students who met a specific GPA target would share the number one ranking with the ranking only appearing on the transcript.

The recommendations also seek to narrow where a student attends and who teaches their courses during consideration for class rank. Administration’s recommendation on attendance, according to Stewart, would require that a student attend at the same school building during both junior and senior years with only courses taught by WCSD instructors. Limiting eligible courses for recognition purposes would mean that cyber courses taught outside the district, and dual enrollment courses taught by a college’s faculty, would be ineligible.

That would hinder students participating in dual enrollment through St. Bonaventure. Those enrolled through Pitt-Bradford, where the college courses is taught by district staff would be eligible.

Policy could also limit the number of credits that are considered for recognition purposes to, for example, only the 28 needed for graduation or some other hybrid count, but administration have recommended that all credits a student earns should count.

Administration has also recommended that weight be added to honors, AP and dual enrollment courses as is current practice.