Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

At the Eudora School Board meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Don Grosdidier asked the board to consider putting into place a district policy that would enable new activities the option of using private funding to finance and sustain their organization. Golf and Girls Soccer had been requested by students and parents in the past but, after much research and number crunching, the school district reported last year that didn’t have the funds to support them in these hard economic times. Transportation and coaching were the two largest expenses of a new sports program. Grosdidier cited the Baldwin School District policy that allows new activities to increase student opportunities if they are a percentage privately funded for three years. Board member Mike Kelso mentioned that other activities, such as the school musical, may need to rely on private funds in the future. All Board members agreed that gauging community interest and public comment would be beneficial to setting a new policy. Comments on this site are welcome. A copy of the Baldwin policy can be found on the Board Docs website via www.eudoraschools.org.

Honoring the academic achievements of Eudora Seniors was the other major point of discussion at the board meeting. EHS Principal G.A. Buie and his leadership team have been working on recommendations for the board that allow the district to more fairly recognize the exemplary effort of the highest achieving students. The traditional titles of Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the senior class are becoming a relic of the past for many districts in Kansas. Weighted advanced placement and honors classes are making the competition for top student status more challenging. In an effort to garner the best Grade Point Average, some students give up their love of music classes or their interests in ed tech classes in favor of those that grant 5 instead of 4 points.  Buie and his team have been information gathering for the last year and learned that there are many different ways to handle this dilemma. After much conversation and deliberation they recommended a three tier honor policy to the board.

Top Academic Honors
4.0 weighted GPA
28 or higher on the ACT
10 semesters of weighted classes
Participation in the Kansas Scholars Curriculum
High Honors
3.75 GPA
26 on the ACT
5 semesters of weighted classes
Honors
3.5 GPA.
Speakers would audition for the honor of delivering a commencement speech and be voted on by the students.

Some of the questions that arose were: Why not use the old Magna and Summa cum laude designations? Why use the ACT as a criterion when some students interested in applying to East coast schools will take the SAT instead? What about the seniors with great student careers who don’t test well? Would letting the students vote on speakers result in a popularity contest? Principal Buie mentioned that of 7 schools in the area, 4 chose to do it differently. He indicated that the team didn’t want to see kids taking weighted classes for the wrong reasons which might result in their missing out on an important interest area. The board did not vote to approve the recommendation at this time but will continue the discussion, garner feedback and bring it back for the September Board Meeting. Stakeholders interested in this issue are encouraged to file their comment with the Board office for the next meeting.

Comments about this story are welcome below.

Print Friendly
Share

3 Responses to School Board to consider Girls Soccer and new activity policy as well as a better way to honor Seniors

  • GPA’s will be based on unweighted classes?? Why bother to try hard and study if it ultimately doesn’t matter. Take the easiest courses possible to get the highest GPA??!

    Vote to let the best speaker talk at graduation? What about the ones that deserve that honor? The best actor/actress or politician?

    What about the students who don’t test well? They weren’t given a break during their 12 years of schooling, why now?? Does that apply to athletics too, so the non-athletic kids get equal play time even if they don’t perform well on the spot?

    Valedictorian and salutatorian (relics) have always been based on academics, now that doesn’t matter?? So much pride, time and effort was taken in achieving those titles.

    Great for the school to possibly offer more sports for the kids!! About time-

  • I will say this in favor of auditioning speakers. I went to the Free State High School graduation ceremony last year and one of the students who spoke, not a valedictorian or even honor student, just a student, delivered one of the best speeches I’d ever heard. He was funny and what he said touched all of us. I was proud that a regular kid, who actually represented the majority of the student body was able to speak for them.

  • The ranking of students has gotten very complex in recent years, due to wide range of availability of college classes. If a student takes more college classes during high school, these can be counted as weighted classes towards class ranking. A student can be technically enrolled at EHS, but take all college classes at a college location. This student would have all weighted classes, and therefore be able to rank higher than students taking all the weighted classes offered at EHS. Should the “top” student to be someone who hasn’t taken a single class at EHS during their junior and senior years, but has the highest high school GPA due to all the weighted classes? What about stuents who don’t need Chemistry 2 for their college goals, but take it only because they need a weighted class? What if taking Spanish IV, an unweighted class, would be more appropriate for their career goals?
    I am glad that the school is taking a look at new ways to rank the students, given all the great opportunities that current student have to complete their high school careers.