By Lyla Hyman (Correspondent).
Cum Laude, also known as the Latin Honors system, is the new way that future classes will be ranked at Sharon High School.
Instead of having two highly ranked student per class known as the valedictorian and salutatorian, the future graduating classes will have the Latin Honors system so more people will be included in the higher ranked tier. It offers a chance for more students to be involved and honored when graduating with outstanding accomplishments.
Harvard University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Maryland, and Amherst College are just some of the institutions that use this system to recognize more students for their achievements.
The Latin Honors system shows that high grades have been maintained for four years of high school. Competition is still kept in order, since students will want to maintain a spot in the top bracket.
According to the article posted by The Harvard Crimson, the Latin Honors system “accomplishes the purpose of an honors system—to reward exceptional academic achievement—while allowing students room to take risks and find their feet in disciplines where they feel less at home.”
The new honors system works to incorporate more students into being admitted.
“It is a system to recognize students to GPA and mirrors the college system,” says Ms. Reagan, a guidance counselor at Sharon High.
With improvements coming next year, the Latin Honors system will incorporate more students.
“The Honors system is a way to look at recognizing more students and promoting collaborative learning,” adds Ms. Regan.
Reagan said that each year the number of students added would vary and depend on achievements for a certain GPA requirement.
Summa Cum Laude, “with highest honor,” would require a GPA of 5.70; Magna Cum Laude, “with great honor,” a GPA of 5.50; Cum Laude, “with honor,” would require a GPA of 5.20. These are calculated after the third term of senior year.
One student of the first class to see this change, Sydney Gordon, says it will be beneficial in the future.
Gordon said it is important that more students are being looked at for their efforts in school.
“Students will be more motivated to take risks for taking complex classes at the high school while blurring the pressure of being the first or second rank of the class,” Gordon says.
Erica Dougherty, Vice President of the class of 2017, agreed that this change is a step towards the right direction at the high school and will be helpful for students.
“It doesn’t make people feel they achieved less as high school students because they got lower grades,” says Dougherty.
In his letter to the school, Dr. Libano said, “the option welcomed involves eliminating the valedictorian and salutatorian distinctions and replacing them with a Latin Honors system that would recognize 15%-20% of the graduating class for reaching specific and publicized GPA thresholds.”
The high school hopes to promote this positive change starting in 2017 with efforts to reflect an accumulative growth in academics.
“While a shift to this form of recognition at the graduation ceremony won’t resolve every concern about grades, competition, or stress, the change is a nice reflection of our collective values about learning,” adds Dr. Libano.