Possible class rank change on horizon

A proposed new system to categorize students would separate future students into three distinction categories based on their GPAs instead of giving them class ranks.

“The graduation system is currently based on class rank, but we are discussing and researching a new system called class distinction. This new system would be based on the students’ GPAs. Their GPAs would place them in a certain distinction: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude,” Principal Todd Garrison said.

Currently, class rank encourages students to base their worth off of their classmates. This potential new system would help students base their success on their own GPAs instead of competing.

“This system would help students base their motivation off of themselves instead of each other. If a student is Number 50 in their class, they might want to give up because they do not have a good chance of getting in the Top 20. This new system would make them want to better themselves and raise their own GPAs instead of trying to knock their classmates down in order to get ahead of them,” Mr. Garrison said.

If GHS shifts to this new class distinction, the change would not be immediate.

“This change would be years ahead. I would need to start with an incoming class in order to change the weight of classes. There is a lot of work that needs to go into this, but we are discussing changing how we weight classes, too. GPAs are becoming inflated, and we want to fix this,” the principal said.

The idea of class rank system is being replaced by many schools, including local ones like Southport and Franklin.

“I do not have a specific number of what schools around us have this system, but I have met with many mid-state principals, and around half of them do not have traditional class rank anymore,” Mr. Garrison said.

The Quality Council is researching the proposed change, and members want to reassure students that nothing has been decided nor would any changes affect current GHS students.