Beginning next year, East Longmeadow High School will not recognize class rank.
While some schools across the area have already done away with ranking students by GPA, the decision does not come without some concerns from current East Longmeadow students.
On May 21, after years of consideration, the East Longmeadow School Committee voted to remove the class ranking system.
"The school committee, the administrations feels like this is a decision that will benefit more students in the end and we feel pretty good about that," said East Longmeadow School Supt. Gordon Smith.
Smith told Western Mass News that this decision was not made lightly.
"As much as we want to promote and honor student achievement, we also don't want to ever put students in a situation where it becomes somewhat of a less then a healthy competition," Smith added.
Smith said that the decision is not about "every student has to get the trophy." What it does come down to is a margin so slim between the top students that ranking can be impossible.
"That it gets down to almost the hundredth decimal point to determine, it's so close," Smith explained.
School committee chair Dierdre Mailloux added, "We are trying to give them a one up on college and when you start to recognize just one or two students every year, colleges are only looking at one or two students. Without class rank, the admissions offices at these colleges now have to dig a little deeper and look at the entire student beyond their grade."
However, does a lack of class rank hinder acceptance?
"Our research has shown that college admissions look at class rank only if the school system is using class rank," Smith noted.
Junior class president Sam Leone recently spoke before the school committee, hoping to delay the implementation until after his class graduates.
"The junior class is having this type of format taken away from them and we just feel disenfranchised in that way, where hey, class rank may or may not necessarily be the best option, but regardless, we'd appreciate the idea of stability - to be able to go into high school and leave it with it still there," Leone said.
Now that the decision has been made, "I mean I definitely do trust the school committee's judgment on that," Leone added.
In place of class rank, the administration plans to put in an honors ranking system.
"I'd be interested in working with the school committee or the school or whomever to try and work toward that next designation," Leone said.
Smith told Western Mass News that they will work to define that new honors ranking system in the coming weeks.
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