COW meeting discusses replacing school ranking with new one

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The Committee of the Whole held its monthly meeting on April 7 at 6 p.m. After the Call to Order, the Pledge of Allegiance was lead by sophomores Maggie McGee, Sam De La Paz, Hannah Hennessy, and freshman Henna Hakala. They were asked questions on their reasoning’s for shaving their heads for St. Baldrick’s.

Following this, was the Academic Spotlight for the sixth grade orchestra. Marlowe Principal James Litchfield said how “Over 100 students are in the orchestra.”

Kevin Gentry asks questions about changing to the Latin system of class rank (S. Biernat).
Kevin Gentry asks questions about changing to the Latin system of class rank (S. Biernat).

A video was shown of the students playing in the band, and the committee was told they would be receiving a live performance later on in the meeting.

Next, there was a Revision and Adoption of the Agenda. There were no Public Comments.

After a unanimous approval of the agenda, Associate Superintendent Terry Awrey briefly touched on the IHSA and IEHA competitions and stepped down from the podium.

The group then got right to business with the subject of student rankings. Dr. Erika Schlichter said how “Our highest grading students may be separated by two-100ths of a percentage.” She continued on to saying how the Latin system could eliminate that.

“We believe this will be best for our students,” said HHS Principal Scott Rowe. “There is only one person who doesn’t agree with this.” According to Rowe they, “consulted with our students.”

According to Human Resource’s Chair Kevin Gentry, the most top- notch Chicagoland schools use this system. Rowe also said how they looked into eliminating class rank but it did not make sense for this district.

“We’ve looked at other options.” Said Rowe. “We built ourselves, we looked at the number of kids who could qualify [to be honored].”

A commoner then questioned Rowe on “person 11” in a class ranking. According to the man, when these are posted, a tiny shortage in a GPA from the 11 person in a the top ten of students could affect their placement in college.

“We go from recognizing two to recognizing 52,” said Rowe. “We need to reward our top students.”

There was minimal banter between Rowe and the commoner on the topic of getting rid of the class rank all together. Rowe said how students thought “The recognition has them striving [to do better with academic work].”

Overall, Rowe was saying how the fewer students who are praised, the harder motivated students want to work.

With student approval and HHS’ administration being fond on the idea, they are hoping this will come into action. This along with everything else discussed at the COW meeting will be heard out by the Board of Education on April 21.

 

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