Laude System to possibly go into place

Abby Turner, Reporter

Students throwing their caps at a previous graduation. No graduating class at Maize has had the laude system yet.

Currently in the Maize district Valedictorian and Salutatorian are awarded to the top two students of the graduating class every year. To be in the top two running of a class, a very rigid academic schedule and a lot of effort is required to maintain the GPA needed to remain in the top two. This being said, many students cannot take classes that interest them or classes that would be good for their future careers because they are too focused on what is needed to get to the top two of the class. This system also eliminates a lot of kids who work hard and do well in school just because they may take classes that interest them more.

Superintendent, Dr. Chad Higgins, as well as a committee including others that work for the Maize district have been searching for a way to honor more students for their hard work at their graduation. This would put less pressure on students to take certain classes, so they could take classes that will ultimately benefit their education in the long run. The system the committee has come up with is the laude system, used by many colleges across the country.

“I like the concept because it will recognize several, rather than one or two, students for achieving at an extremely high academic level.” Higgins said, “I believe students who seek this type of recognition won’t be driven into coursework that doesn’t benefit them in the future simply to be named valedictorian.”

The laude system is a system of three rankings; summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude. Summa cum laude means, “with highest honor”. Students rewarded this would be in the top 3 percent of the class, must complete the Kansas Honors Scholars curriculum and must take a full course schedule for eight semesters. Students completing those would receive a medal, gold cord, identification in the graduation program and called to stage to receive the medal. Magna cum laude is next in the laude ranking system, it means, “With High Honor”, to receive this students would be required to be top 4 to 10 percent of their graduating class with a weighted GPA. Students that fall in this would receive a gold cord, identification in the graduation program and would stand at graduation to be recognized. The final laude award is Cum Laude, meaning, “With Honor.” To receive this award students would need to have a weighted GPA of 4.0 or above. Students achieving this would receive a silver cord, identification in the graduation program and stand to be recognized at graduation.

“I think the laude system is a good idea because it will give more people an opportunity to receive honor at graduation,” junior Bethany Tschosik said. “People that receive valedictorian and salutatorian often have a higher GPA because they’ve had more time to take upper level classes. Students that do things like band, choir and orchestra don’t have as much time in their schedule to take those upper level classes and increase their GPA.”