Lance Whitesides, pictured above, is the junior class projected valedictorian (Kailee Giddings)
Lance Whitesides, pictured above, is the junior class projected valedictorian

Kailee Giddings

Categorized By Number

September 20, 2018

Schools across America for so long have been categorizing students based on GPA and how they rank among other kids in their class; however, this tradition is rapidly changing. According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, “over half of the high schools in America have chosen to get rid of class rank altogether.”

FMHS is about to make the change and join the other schools across the nation but how does this change affect students, and should we be concerned?

Colleges often use class ranking and GPA to sift through the thousands of applications they receive to choose the top students for their program. “This is efficient for colleges; however, it often shows a very limited representation of the student’s abilities,” claims FMHS Counselor, Kristen Rutkowski

For students with high academic achievement, class rank is a way to show off all of their hard work.  FMHS student Lance Whitesides is currently holding the number 1 spot for the junior class and is taking 6 AP classes this year in order to keep his rank. “Our class rank drives us to do more than we would of otherwise and it drives us to compete with each other,” said Whitesides.

Competition is a healthy human tendency, however, is it inappropriate for the classroom? It often pushes kids to work their hardest and achieve the most they can, however, sometimes it pushes kids in ways that aren’t conducive to their learning. “Without class rank students have the opportunity to take classes that they enjoy or that benefit them more instead of taking AP classes that they have no interest in,” says Rutkowski.

Fruita Monument, as well as all of the other high schools in the district, are switching to this method for the graduating class of 2021. The goal is to establish a positive school environment where students are excited about the classes that they are taking.

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