Honor roll standards do not recognize exceptional students enough

Zoe Hussain, Contributing Writer

Surprise! You’ve got a new email.  Have the nights spent crouched over a textbook finally paid off?  The answer is yes!  You’ve made the honor roll, your mom bakes you your favorite cookies as a reward for your academic exellence, and you can go to sleep knowing you have a new accomplishment to add to the resume.  Mr. Pernick’s words “this achievement reflects a commitment to academic success” is in replay as you put your head down on your pillow.  However, is Schreiber’s honor roll system really the best way to measure academic success?  Should we be implementing higher standards?

The Schreiber honor roll system has two tiers of achievement.  The “Honor Roll” is rewarded to students with GPA’s ranging from a weighted 3.5 to 3.9.  The “Principal’s Honor Roll,” being the more prestigious of the two, requires a weighted GPA of a 4.0 or higher.  

Last year, roughly 500 students made one of the honor rolls, which comes close to one-third of the student body.  Although these numbers may seem startling to us, the honor roll is a way to keep students driven in their academic endeavors.

    “I think the honor roll is good because people should feel that reward for doing well. If you don’t get on the honor roll, there’s a drive to do so,” says senior Mia Verras.

The honor roll serves a purpose in each students life.  Being on the honor roll is a way of assessing your academic performance and establishing goals for the future.  

Say AP European History has proven to be as hard as you feared and you now have a D in the class.  If you add this to your average C in geometry, and a few A’s and B’s across the board, you may have cut yourself short of the Principal’s Honor Roll this quarter.  Next quarter, there is even stronger motivation to study and get more fulfilling grades on your report card.

    “I think that the honor roll requirements are fair.  There’s the honor roll for students who are doing well, then there is the principal’s honor roll for those who are doing even better,” said sophomore Lily Josephs.

    However, with a weighted GPA, those who are taking honors and AP classes may see their GPA in the high range, while their report card is shy of pleasing them.  For the students who get straight A’s in their courses, achieve high standardized test scores, or have made immense efforts in improving the school environment, a new tier should be added to the honor roll.

 For those students who aren’t necessarily scholars, but stellar athletes or exceptional community members, an additional tier in the honor roll is a great way of commemorating their achievements.  

Although grades are an important component of your high school experience, colleges also look at your achievements in athletics, clubs and extracurriculars,  as well as the steps you’ve taken to be a valuable community member.  This includes volunteer work at community events, getting a job or internship at a local store,  and simply being a good neighbor.

    “I could see a new tier of the honor roll as being really good for some students.  You shouldn’t have to get perfect grades in order to be recognized,” says sophomore Mia Accetturi.

    With such a diverse student population, the measures of achievement shouldn’t be so black and white.  Another additional tier to the honor roll system would be an award to the students who go above and beyond their expectations, in academics or extracurriculars. 

 While a tremendous number of students find themselves on the honor roll, we should keep the standards for the honor roll and principals honor roll.  The requirements may not be as rigorous as they could be, however they keep the majority of the student body motivated to reach academic excellence and score well on their upcoming tests.  

The honor roll has implemented a way of keeping our student body motivated and aware of their academic performance, the next step is rewarding the students who apply their talents heavily in other areas like improving our community.  

Unil then, keep up the good work, await the next email from Dr. Pernick, and look forward to the celebratory hug from your parents congratulating you on making the honor roll.