Ohio high school to eliminate valedictorian honor citing mental health concerns
An Ohio high school has decided that it will no longer recognize a valedictorian or salutatorian beginning next school year. The officials of Mason High School said they took the decision to prevent unhealthy competitiveness among students. This was among the many other decisions announced on Thursday by the school to foster better mental well being among the students.
The school will also adapt to a grading system that has a GPA of 5.0 maximum, according to Mason City Schools.
A press release from the school stated, "After a year-long study and focus groups with students, staff, and families, MHS officials made the announcement as part of an effort to improve students’ mental wellness."
Tracey Carson, a district spokeswoman, also added, "Kids were using their summers, using time during the year to stack themselves up with even more classes."
In the current GPA system, without a cap, students are encouraged to chase higher and higher GPAs instead of pursuing other endeavors. In the current system, however, students with a 4.0 GPA and higher will earn summa cum laude honors, 3.75 to 3.99 will earn magna cum laude, and 3.51 to 3.74 will earn cum laude.
The principal of Mason High School, Bobby Dodd, according to USA Today said, "The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments. This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them."
The changes were made after year-long study and focus group meetings attended by staff, students and families. The officials also explained that colleges and universities look for performance in rigorous courses than on class rank.