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updated: 12/28/2016 5:29 PM

Batavia High could eliminate class rank

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  • School board members next month will consider eliminating class ranks at Batavia High School, beginning with the Class of 2019.

    School board members next month will consider eliminating class ranks at Batavia High School, beginning with the Class of 2019.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

Batavia High School officials are recommending eliminating class ranks beginning with the Class of 2019.

However, the current system of awarding "highest honors," "high honors" and "honors" would remain in place if the Batavia Unit District 101 school board approves the change at a January meeting.

Nationwide, many schools have eliminated class rank. Same for local districts, including high schools in Geneva Unit District 304, St. Charles Unit District 303, Indian Prairie Unit District 204, Wheaton-Warrenville Unit District 200, Huntley Community School District 158, Kaneland Unit District 302, Elmhurst Unit District 205 and Barrington Unit District 220.

Batavia High School Principal JoAnne Smith said officials based their recommendation to eliminate class rank on various factors.

"We value the practice of the Latin system and capped grade-point average," she said. "This system has allowed students to take risks and courses they may not have taken without a penalty in their class rank or grade-point average. This system also rewards students for those risks and achievement. We feel the average of three Honors or Advanced Placement courses per year (12 in their high school career) is a good benchmark for our students."

The school has seen an increase in AP course enrollment and in AP test taking and scores.

"This may relieve some of the pressure or 'game-playing' that may occur with class rank," Smith said. "Students separated by one-thousandth of a grade point could have very different class ranks."

According to National Association for College Admission Counseling, class rank has played a small role in student selection in recent years. Other factors, such as course rigor, GPA, involvement, and standardized test scores, are weighed more.

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