Honor roll discontinued for middle grades

Parents of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students in Ripon won’t see their children’s names on the honor roll anymore.

The Ripon School Board unanimously voted Monday evening to end the tradition of singling out Ripon Middle School/Catalyst students for academic achievement at the end of each of the four quarters.

The vote was 8-0, with Dave Olson absent.

Reason for dropping the honor roll was the Ripon Area School District switching from letter grades to standards-based grading at the middle school. It made the move during the 2010-11 school year.

Under standards-based grading, students are evaluated based on a four-point scale that reports numerically how well they know the material relative to what they are expected to master by school year’s end.

For that reason, the numbers don’t align with traditional letter grades, making it more difficult to gage achievement rather than progress.

“... We acknowledge that the historical practice of recognizing students using the current middle school honor roll system is not in alignment with our standards-based grading practices,” parents were told in a recent letter sent by Chrissy Damm, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment.

Board member Gary Rodman expressed disappointment that the board wasn’t presented with an alternate way to recognize students’ academic achievement.

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