Class Rank Kicked Back To Committee

The issue of class rank, policy 9744, was before the Warren County School District board of directors again on Monday.

The result? The policy was sent back to committee for further review.

Problems with the class rank policy have plagued the district for years as new situations arise that require revisions to the policy, the most recent being a transfer that affected valedictorian at Warren Area High School this past year.

In response, administration prepared a survey for for the board to garner information regarding what they want class rank to be.

A first reading of that policy revision was before the board on Monday.

“In regard to the dual enrollment and some statements in there with regard to how we’re dealing with students who are physically in the building not being taught by our teachers, I don’t have a clear picture… on how that is working” for class rank purposes, said Board Vice-president Donna Zariczny.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Gary Weber said that a student taking a course outside a district building “would still be eligible for class rank. Those courses would not count but everything else would count for class rank.”

Director of Administrative Support Services Amy Stewart noted that because these dual enrollment programs are approved by the board, students can maintain their full-time student status.

The new policy also requires students to attend the same district school for their junior and senior year to be eligible for valedictorian honors.

Board member Tom Knapp outlined a concern in that realm, namely “somebody moving into the district from outside the district for their senior year. Have we given any thought to that at all?”

Weber said that the senior year requirement has always existed. He said that the feedback he received from the board necessitated that addition of the junior year. “When a student transfers in from other school districts, we accept their credits,” he explained. “But often on a pass/fail basis,” which would preclude consideration for class rank.

Stewart explained that the district can look at credit and weight with the dual enrollment courses. “I would not want to put those entities in the same category with neighboring school districts, cyber or another state. I would hesitate blanketing all outside entities.”

“The only thing we know is the rigor for the courses we teach,” she added.

“As you’re looking at these programs, it’s about opportunities for students,” Superintendent Dr. William Clark said.

Board member Jack Werner, noted that the traditional honors system eliminates competition from anyone “outside of maybe the top five or maybe six kids.” In a Latin honors system, “virtually any student could achieve to the next level so perhaps that would improve competition.”

“This policy would advance both,” Board President Arthur Stewart said.

Administration was tasked with revising the policy in light of this discussion and returning to the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee at a later date.