In an effort to reduce competitiveness and improve overall mental health in the student body, the Mason City, Ohio, school district announced the local high school will no longer recognize a class valedictorian or salutatorian.

Under the former system, students could pad their GPAs by .03 points if they received a C grade of higher in their AP, honors or College Credit Plus classes.

This led to students taking on heavier and heavier class loads.

“Kids were using their summers, using time during the year to stack themselves up with even more classes,” said district spokeswoman Tracey Carson.

The school will instead honor students in a similar fashion as most colleges and universities: summa cum laude (4.0 GPA and higher), magna cum laude (3.75 to 3.99) and cum laude (3.51 to 3.74).

“The recognition system will reward our students for genuine academic success based on their academic accomplishments,” said Mason High School Principal Bobby Dodd in a statement. “This will help reduce the overall competitive culture at MHS to allow students to focus on exploring learning opportunities that are of interest to them.”

School officials said another reason for the change was college admissions putting more emphasis on what classes were being taken, not class rank.

The school also announced classes would start a half-hour later in order to boost attendance as well as grades.


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