Fulton schools to change academic recognition

Starting with the Class of 2016, Fulton High School will no longer have a valedictorian or salutatorian.

The Fulton School Board voted Wednesday night to switch from the current system for academic achievement of recognizing the top two students in the graduating class to honoring students via the cum laude system.

Based on the district’s current weighted grading system, seniors earning a GPA of 4.2 or above will be recognized as summa cum laude, seniors with a GPA of 4.0-4.19999 will be magna cum laude and students with a GPA of 3.85-3.9999 will graduate cum laude. There will be no class ranking.

Analyzing the current sophomore and junior classes as examples, Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Hull said the new policy would allow the district to recognize 25 students in the Class of 2014 and 37 students in the Class of 2015 for their academic achievements.

“There are a lot of districts across Missouri that use a cum laude system,” Hull explained to the board. “What this does is it stops kids from playing the class rank game. It really helps kids focus on classes they want to take versus how they are weighted and how they will affect their class rank.”

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