On December 19, 2019, the Byron Board of Education officially acted to remove class rank from the transcripts of students as well as remove traditional valedictorian and salutatorian honors for future graduating seniors.
These changes will take effect with the class of 2023 which is the current freshman class. All Byron High School students in grades 10, 11 and 12 will remain under the old system and their transcripts will remain unchanged and valedictorian and salutatorian honors will be given.
The decision to remove class rank will provide our students a more equalized opportunity during the college admission and scholarship application process. Since class rank only compares students with their classmates and not the greater educational community, many Byron students face additional challenges when class rank is reported. If a college or scholarship requires a student to have a class rank, our student services office will still be able to provide one on an individual basis. Though this will be a change for the Byron School District, several school districts have long since moved away from reporting class rank, and this practice continues to grow throughout the educational community.
Though the valedictorian and salutatorian awards will be removed, the Byron Board of Education will still honor graduating students for exhibiting academic excellence. Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, the Board of Education will use a Latin honors system tied to student grade point average (GPA): Summa Cum Laude, “with highest honor”; Magna Cum Laude, “with great honor”; and Cum Laude, “with honor”. Though the removal of class rank made the removal of valedictorian and salutatorian honors a natural byproduct, many have long pointed at the “unhealthy competition” that can accompany these awards and the additional stress it can place on students. It is the hope of the Byron Board of Education that the changes being made will help our students achieve their desired goals while improving the social and emotional climate of their educational experiences.