Class rank and academic honors to return 2023-2024 school year


Canva made by Nathanial Swindle

205 students responded to an Instagram poll asking whether or not they want class rank, valedictorian and salutatorian to come back to Ocean Lakes on May 22, 2023.

After five years, class rank, which include valedictorian and salutatorian honors, will return for the 23-24 school year.

The system was removed in 2018 with a 7-3 vote by the VBCPS School Board. In its place, the Latin Honors System was introduced, directed towards acknowledging students with a 3.0 GPA average and higher.

“It can create unhealthy competition and make some students feel less than. We never want students to feel like that. Competition between students should be fair and mentally healthy,” said counselor Susan Sigler.

One of the reasons it was removed was due to the argument that students were not given the same opportunities to take AP classes along with the ideology that colleges and universities started taking class rank with less weight than in previous years.

“I think people wanted a win-win situation for all the kids instead of putting a label on who’s the ‘smartest.’ It is about hard work and integrity to get that position in your class,” said sophomore Olivia Cirillo.

In March of 2023, class rank along with the valedictorian and salutatorian honors were voted to return next year with a vote of 10-1 by the VBCPS School Board.

“I believe they brought back the exact rank because they felt that students and parents wanted it. Colleges, on the other hand, can figure it all out with a school profile,” said Sigler.

The new ranking system is set to incorporate two valedictorians and salutatorians to recognize Ocean Lakes Math and Science Academy students separately from Ocean Lakes students. This new rule was put in place to balance ranking based on provided weighted classes, although some students believe that valedictorian and salutatorian go against the school’s beliefs.

“Valedictorian and Salutatorian shouldn’t really come back because it would go against our school’s ‘One Pod One Purpose’ meaning. We are all different, and we use that to come together,” said sophomore Hailey Davis.