The Class of 2019 will be the end of an era at Mason High School. Starting with the Class of 2020, the school is doing away with valedictorians and salutatorian ranking and will instead follow the Latin Honors System normally used for colleges and universities.
It gives students a designator of summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude.
It is also raising the GPA to 5.0
Tracey Carson, the district spokesperson, told WKRC that 40 percent of Mason’s students have a 4.0 GPA or higher. Carson attributes the students’ push to get perfect grades is causing too much stress. Some are forgoing sleep due to so many advanced placement classes.
The district officials, who looked at the change, said they were worried about not only the stress, but also depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts they said came with the pressure to perform.
“There’s definitely moments too when I was stressed out. I remember last year when I got one of my first Bs. I was like really stressed about that,” Mason High School junior Judi Hu told WKRC.
Hu has a 4.5 GPA and isn’t worried that the school is doing away with the top two graduating honors.
School officials also said many students are taking classes that also come with college credit, WKRC reported.
“These past couple of years we’ve seen a trend where students are not taking the classes because they want to learn more about a subject. They’re taking the classes because of a weighted GPA they can receive,” Mason High School principal Bobby Dodd told the television station.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.