The Effingham County Board of Education approved a new policy for the selection of the valedictorian and salutatorian at the county’s high schools.
“We’ve had this policy drafted, and it’s laid on the table now for 30 days,” Assistant Superintendent Greg Arnsdorff said. “It’s been posted on our Web site, and we’ve received no written comments regarding the proposal.”
He said each school has followed its own policy in selecting its valedictorian and salutatorian.
“As the system gets larger, and we come into contact with more varied issues, we felt it necessary that the board establish a policy,” Arnsdorff said. “Essentially what this does is provide a uniform day for which the calculation will occur, which is the 175th day of school of the student’s senior term. It also establishes a continuously enrolled requirement of three semesters prior to graduation.”
Arnsdorff also told the board about a wording change in regards to a program that will be used in the event that there is a tie. The policy originally said “post-secondary options” was changed to “dual/joint enrollment.”
“Dual/joint enrollment is a broader type program,” he said.
If there is a tie, the policy states that the school will first use the number of advanced placement, honors and dual/joint enrollment courses successfully completed with a grade of 90 or above. If that does not break the tie, the students’ highest SAT or ACT scores are used. The final criteria to break a tie will be the highest SAT or ACT score in one sitting.
Curriculum coordinator Judith Shuman said the schools generally have all the information by the 175th day, including end of course tests.
“Occasionally we’re sweating a little bit, hoping state end of course test scores will return,” she said. “We’ve always been able to, over that weekend period, finish that calculation.”
Arnsdorff said there are some districts that stop the calculation very early in the year.
“We feel that everything should count as much as possible, and we’d like folks to have the opportunity to continue to work,” he said.