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Deer Lakes delays decision on ending class rankings

| Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 8:14 a.m.

The Deer Lakes School Board is exploring the possibility of eliminating ranking class members starting with the 2014-15 freshman class, but no decision is expected soon.

Education Committee Chairwoman Rebekah Stankowski said about half of local school districts have eliminated it and colleges don't ask for class rank these days.

Several board members said class rankings discourage some students from taking more difficult classes in order to not imperil a high class ranking.

“It hurts our students more than it helps our students,” Merlo said.

“I still like the rank system,” board member William LuPone said.

Several parents spoke in favor of retaining the rankings system at the board's meeting on Tuesday night.

Parent Barbara Bick said her daughters didn't participate in sports and “academics is their competition, it's their lettermen's jackets, it's a way of being recognized.”

High school Principal Joseph Orr is looking at a way to formulate students' admission to the National Honor Society should class ranks be eliminated.

Board members said they weren't prepared to make a decision. They canceled a vote on the issue that was set for Monday.

Residents were urged to look for more public educational committee meetings where the matter will be further discussed.

Policy Committee Chairwoman Jodi Banyas-Galecki reminded residents that her committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Aug. 29 in the district's central office to discuss general behavior and punishment.

Parents and others can offer input on severity or leniency for punishments starting with the 2014-15 school year.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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