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Letter regarding the consideration of eliminating class rank
May 25, 2018

Dear Shaler Area families,

In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, we want to inform you that the district currently is reviewing the possibility of eliminating class rank at Shaler Area High School.

A committee of Shaler Area teachers, administrators, and school counselors have spent months reviewing Class Rank Policy No. 214 and meeting with groups of students, parents, and college admissions counselors to collect information.

With a focus on making a decision that is in the best interest of all Shaler Area students, the committee recommends discontinuing the practice of class rank at Shaler Area. The main reasons to support this recommendation are as follows:
  • Class rank places a tremendous amount of pressure on students and impacts mental health.
  • Class rank creates a competitive environment among peers causing students to lose sight of their personal educational goals and manipulate course selection based on course weight rather than make choices based on areas of passion.
  • Class rank disadvantages students taking courses through A.W. Beattie Career Center or CCAC.
  • Eliminating class rank will not negatively affect students applying to colleges or universities.

Shaler Area will establish an alternate system to recognize students who have achieved high academic success. Options for consideration include recognizing students through a Latin honor system (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude) based on their grade point average or with a special cord or medallion during commencement. These changes are being considered for implementation starting with the Class of 2020.

The school board plans to discuss these proposed changes at the Policy Committee meeting at 6 p.m. on June 6. If the committee recommends revising the Class Rank Policy, the school board would be required to vote on the revised policy at two voting meeting before any changes would take effect. The next two voting meetings are at 7 p.m. on June 20 and July 18.  All meetings are held in the Barbara J. Duss Conference Room at the Administrative Offices on Mt. Royal and open to the public.

Sincerely,

Mr. Sean C. Aiken
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Timothy J. Royall
Shaler Area High School Principal
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1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard     Glenshaw, PA. 15116     P 412-492-1200     F 412-492-1236
1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard Glenshaw, PA. 15116 P 412-492-1200 F 412-492-1236
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