Status replaces rank at NBW


Beginning with the graduating class of 2014-2015, New Berlin West will be instituting a new system for recognizing academic achievements known as the Cum Laude Status. It will be replacing the previous system of class rank in which the top two students of the class were recognized as the Valedictorian and the Salutatorian.            In order to become a Cum Laude graduate, there are certain qualifications that a student must fulfill. Academically, students must earn a minimum of 26 credits, complete at least one Advanced Placement course, receive a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and be Proficient or Advanced on all sections of the WKCE.  In order to ensure well roundedness, a student must also participate in co-curricular(s) for a minimum of two years. Other requirements include a behavior record free of suspensions from school, as well as a 95% attendance rate.

Within the Cum Laude system itself, there are several levels of achievement. The distinction between the levels is determined solely by the student’s GPA and the number of AP classes he/she has participated in. The lowest of this hierarchy is the Cum Laude in which students need only to have completed one AP class and have had a GPA of 3.5. One step up from this is the title of Magna Cum Laude. In order to achieve this status, students must have maintained a GPA of 3.75 as well as have completed three AP courses. To be regarded as a Summa Cum Laude, students must have earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher and have been enrolled in at least five AP classes throughout his/her high school career.

The principle, John Budish, believes that the system’s “most measurable impact will be that more students will be admitted to higher caliber universities,” such as Madison. However, he does not believe that it “will have much impact on what we do day to day.”

Madison Austad, a member of the graduating class of 2014-2015, thinks “it is not right that the valedictorian will not be acknowledged for his/her efforts, especially considering that people who did not challenge themselves as much are going to receive the same recognition.”