The Churchill County School Board Trustees received a harsh response from parents and students over a possible change to honor programs that determine who is chosen for valedictorian.
The board discussed Policy 5110, which allowed trustees to take action on permitting weighted grades for dual credit Jump Start program, online college courses and other similar courses would be able to compete for valedictorian with students that take AP classes.
Trustee Greg Koenig said his son is currently in the Jump-Start program and even with a weighted GPA his son would not be in competition with the top students.
“It’s not fair to have a valedictorian from the high school and from the Jump-Start program,” he said. “You have the high school students competing with 100 plus students and the Jump-Start program students competing with 15 classmates.”
Newly elected trustee Kathryn Whitaker said she has researched how other districts handle the situation and found other districts don’t have any distinction between the two.
If an informed decision is going to be made, Vice President Clay Hendrix said he needs the facts and research presented and would like to see what other districts are doing.
“I want to see how it’s being presented in different districts,” he said. “And the rules (for the jump-start program) clearly state that if you do this then you can’t qualify for valedictorian. I don’t think it’s fair to change the policy so close to graduation.”
Concerned parents and students voiced their opinions about the possible change and were in agreement with how the matter should be handled. It was stated students were forewarned when joining the program that they would not qualify for valedictorian. The concerns continued with how unfair it would be to change the policy two weeks before graduation. The parents and students suggest the trustees hold off on changing the policy until 2017 so it wouldn’t affect currents juniors.
After further discussion the board decided to form a committee for the next school year to look into all of the programs and make a recommendation to the board regarding the weighting of the grade points earned in the classes.
Other items discussed and/or approved by the trustees include the following:
Approved renewal proposal from Wells Fargo Insurance Services.
Approved award of contract with Peek Brothers Construction of Fernley, for $228,738.07 for construction at Churchill County High School.
Approved action to ratify the 2014-2015 School Year Tentative Agreement between Churchill County School District and the Churchill County Administrator’s Association and Churchill County Education Association, including fiscal impact data.