Editorial: With honours

Lower Mainland school districts such as North Vancouver School District are phasing out the honour roll. Fewer students are showing up on these lists of achievements each report card until they eventually no longer exist.

For many students it is a goal to work toward, exactly what the honour roll was intended for. So, if it is not broken, why fix it? Or in this case, why scrap it?

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In Powell River, School District 47 calculates its honour roll based on GPA (grade point average), requiring students reach a certain grade to achieve and remain in any of the three tiers: Principal’s List, Honour Roll or Vice Principal’s list. For some this can seem like a lot of pressure to be put on students in grades eight through 12; it can also be argued that it doesn’t really fall in line with the new learning versus grading curriculum.

Both are valid points, however, there are students who find this achievement to be a highlight in their school careers.

Regardless of the new teaching and learning methods being taught, there should still be room for recognition. Unless there is a better way, the honour roll is still a completely viable way of doing this.

If we phase out an honour roll program, what happens to those students? What will be established to measure their successes? They may not be bringing home trophies from soccer or hockey tournaments, or first-place ribbons in juried art shows, but these academic scholars have their names posted in the display case near the front entrance of Brooks Secondary School for all to see, right alongside those sports photos and trophies.

Regardless of whether these honour rolls matter after high school or not, they are important to many students and parents. Who are we to take that away from those students who may not strive to be the best in sports or the arts and find their passion for learning and excel in academics instead?

This may only be a debate in the Lower Mainland at this point, but how would you feel if our school district began phasing out the honour roll?

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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