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St. Paul public schools to eliminate valedictorian, salutatorian honors

Seniors will now be ranked using the Latin Honor System based on weighted GPAs.
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ST PAUL, Minn. — The St. Paul School District has decided to move away from recognizing a valedictorian and salutatorian honor for graduating high school seniors, instead using the Latin Honor System.

St. Paul Schools feel the change will allow them to celebrate the successes of more students.

Based on their weighted GPA, students will be recognized in the following categories:

GPA average of 4.000 and above

  • High Honors with Distinction, Summa Cum Laude

GPA average of 3.75 to 3.99

  • High Honors, Magna Cum Laude

GPA average of 3.3 to 3.749

  • Honors, Cum Laude

The school district will also stop recognizing the "top ten" students from each class. The "Celebration of Excellence" that was held every year to honor the top ten students from each high school has been cancelled as well. Instead, the money formerly used to fund the Celebration will be used to buy cords for graduation ceremonies and support individual high schools' graduation celebrations.

The Board of Education also voted that class rankings and honor-point averages will not be published for seniors in the news or in yearbooks. Previously the "top ten" students had their names published in newspapers and other media. The school district says they will find another way to best recognize students publicly.

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Each high school can decide if they want to recognize other student achievements.

These changes in policy were based on recommendations made to the Board of Education in May 2018 by the Student Engagement and Advancement Board.

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