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Parkway considers new plan for academic recognition

The board of education recently heard a report outlining potential changes to the way Parkway recognizes its graduates’ academic achievement. Currently, Parkway recognizes only the highest ranking “top 10” students from each graduating class.

With the desire to recognize more students for their exceptional academic achievement, reinforced by a recommendation from Parkway’s credit review action team, the district looked to other high schools that previously used the “top 10” system. Several area school districts, including Rockwood, Clayton, Ladue and Webster Groves have adopted different graduating class recognition systems in recent years.

Two most commonly used options are the Latin cum laude system and class percentile ranking—either of which may be feasible for Parkway. Systems such as these would provide opportunities for more students to achieve distinction for their superior grades in high school. In addition, with these options students might be encouraged to take a broader range of coursework with less focus on attaining a “top 10” ranking.

The report indicated that a sampling of selective universities and colleges across the country showed that moving away from the current ranking system would not negatively impact student admission decisions.

Additional research and discussion will take place with parents and staff before a final recommendation is made to the board.