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School board to approve current valedictorian requirements at Hampton

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 11:26 a.m.

The Hampton Township School Board plans to maintain the current requirements for valedictorian status at its Jan. 14 meeting.

The board established requirements four years ago that allow for more than one class valedictorian based on a series of requirements, including earning a minimum of 28 credits, not withdrawing from any classes and achieving a quality-point average of 4.35 or above.

However, in the past four years, the number of valedictorians has grown to include 11 valedictorians in last year's graduating class, and there is the potential for 16 valedictorians in the class of 2013.

“We established this in order to make it a fair process for kids,” Superintendent John Hoover said. “When you look at grading percentages, it's not precise to the 1000th decimal place and that's not fair.

“Personally, I don't think it's a problem to have 10 valedictorians. It's indicative of our students achieving that level.”

Assistant Superintendent Jo Welter presented an example student schedule to the board that included the highest academic classes for four years and included no study hall period and one day per week without a lunch period.

“If they got ‘As' all the way through … not missing a beat, 4.63 (is the maximum QPA),” Welter said.

Several school board members said that is not their goal for the students, and they want students to feel free to try different courses and electives.

“I would be very much opposed to eliminating this (valedictorian criteria) because I think it would push kids away from taking full advantage of the high school experience,” school board President David Gurwin said.

The school board will vote to approve the 2013-14 program of studies and the valedictorian requirements at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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