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Levittown Schools Eliminate Class Rankings

Plans for the new Division Avenue cafeteria and the new district calendar were also discussed at Wednesday's board meeting.

The Levittown school board passed a resolution to eliminate the district's class rankings system for high school students at Wednesday night's board meeting.

The elimination of class rankings was approved unanimously by the board, who discussed the possibility at length during December's planning session. At Wednesday's meeting, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane told residents that class rankings hurt districts like theirs, where students with high averages are ranked in the bottom 50 percent of the class. Grossane said that it causes colleges to overlook those students.

"If you don’t rank, they’re more inclined to look at your transcript, look at your body of work, look at your application more closely," he said. 

The decision was also made in order to keep up with surrounding districts. Board vice president Peter Porrazzo noted before the vote that 27 of 33 surrounding districts sampled had already eliminated class ranking. Grossane added that those districts benefited from the decision.

"The experiences of many school districts and numerous high schools throughout the county and throughout the area have been that they’ve seen a rise in their acceptance rates for students to more competitive and more prestigious colleges," he said. "We need to keep pace. We want to put our kids in the best possible light with their competition."

The change will go into effect for the 2012-13 school year.

The board also received an update on the progress of the proposed Division Avenue cafeteria at the meeting from Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Mark Flower, who relayed an email from the architect who presented the initial plans.

Flower relayed that the architects are in the final stages of planning their specifications and that they hoped that they would be completed by the end of the month. From there, the final proposal will be presented to the board at an upcoming planning session and mailed for approval. A contract was estimated to be awarded by March 15, with construction beginning at the end of June. Flower said that the project is still on schedule for a substantial completion date of August 12.

Dr. Grossane also revealed his proposed school calendar for the 2012-13 school year to the school board. The proposed calendar includes two Superintendent’s Conference Days at the beginning of the year in order to work with staff. The first day of school will be Thursday, Sept. 6, with the last day of school tentatively scheduled for June 25.

Alterations to the February break were a possibility for the 2012-13 calendar, as the State told the Nassau County superintendents that they are strongly considering moving up the dates of Regents examinations in order to comply with APPR regulations. But Grossane said that the County superintendents decided to hold off on adjustments for the 2012-13 school year.

The calendar was not voted on at Wednesday’s meeting but will most likely be voted on at a special meeting before the planning session on Jan. 25.

Merrick7 January 12, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I feel elimination of class rankings, gives way to more grade inflation and does not show colleges your true place and abilities in the school curriculum. Unfortunately college is highly competitive and becoming a necessity in order to achieve a good job. I see both sides of the coin, it is just an unfortunate consequence, because now students that would not normally be accepted because of the rank may find themselves unable to handle the work load in this more prestigious school. There is a reason for denial of admission when ranked or not.

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