CALHOUN SCHOOLS DISCONTINUED HONOR ROLL RECOGNITION - Practice Will Be Resumed (06/10/2010) By Bob Weaver Calhoun Schools discontinued a long-time practice of recognizing academic achievement with an Honor Roll, but school officials are now saying the practice will be resumed.

The issuing of an Honor Roll for both Calhoun High and Middle School, dwindled during school year 2008-09, but was discontinued entirely during 2009-10.

Calhoun Board of Education president Cynthia Dale said she had not received any complaints about dropping the honor roll, but believed in it's academic recognition.

Calhoun Middle-High School principal Karen Kirby said, "I personally have not had anyone comment to me on the subject."

"Calhoun Middle-High School staff is always proud of the academic accomplishments of our students. However, increasing demands on the time of administration, counselors and office staff have made it very difficult to maintain the timely release of a traditional honor roll report with each report card." Kirby said.

"However, I feel very strongly that we need to recognize student academic achievement whenever possible," Kirby said.

Superintendent Roger Propst said, "We sometimes have to get quite creative in being able to accomplish tasks that once were routine. Fortunately we have dedicated employees willing to step up and assist in getting the important things done."

Propst said he was pleased to announce, "We now have a plan for consistently publishing the honor roll."

Principal Kirby said Edline has been a tremendous program in providing parents immediate access to their child's academic progress without the need to wait for a traditional report, like an Honor Roll, indicating the new technology could be surpassing a published honor roll.

Calhoun appeared to be the only regional county discontinuing the honor roll system.

The school will again be releasing an honor roll report with each grade card. This will occur approximately 7 to 10 days after students and parents receive report cards.

"During the 2010-11 school year, a staff member will be designated and responsible for providing press release information of student achievements to local media," Kirby said.

Looking at honor roll lists from 2000-2001 and lists published in 2008-2009, the number of seniors listed who accomplished 3.5-4.0 dropped more than half.

In 2005, a policy change was presented to the Calhoun Board of Education to eliminate Valedictorian-Salutatorian recognition, a long-held tradition in most public schools at graduation time.

Arnoldsburg parent Kelley Houchin said the main reasons given by county administrators for their proposed elimination was - "It is a nationwide trend."

Houchin told the local school board, "Too many times nationwide trends have driven poor choices for local students. One only has to look at the much-maligned block scheduling to see an example of this," a system which has since been reversed by the board.

"Academic competition is not unhealthy. It is realistic," Houchin said at the time.

The board decided to maintain the Valedictorian-Salutatorian recognition.

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