RICHLAND — The Richland School Board is considering changing how valedictorians are chosen.
Several options have been talked about, from ranking classes by difficulty to increasing the number of Advanced Placement courses that are required.
Officials also have talked about creating more distinct ways for top students to be recognized, such as with designations such as magna cum laude.
No decisions have been made.
The question is, "Is this something we need to change or re-evaluate?" said Rick Jansons, school board president.
The issue was one of several on the agenda Tuesday during an afternoon board retreat at the district office. Board members also talked about priorities for 2010-11, facilities, finances and communication.
The idea of changing the valedictorian criteria came up earlier this year.
A Richland student took a rigorous, college-level math class online through a top university and received a "B," edging her out of a valedictorian spot, according to information provided the board.
The student didn't need the course for credit and instead took it to be challenged academically, the board was told.
The situation led some people to question whether the existing criteria might discourage students from pushing themselves.
Under current rules, students have to complete one advanced class, such as an AP class, to be eligible for valedictorian. Also, every grade they earn is counted in the calculation. There's no course ranking system.
Board members said Tuesday that they want the opinion of staff and students. The issue will be discussed again at an upcoming board meeting.
The board also went over a detailed list of top projects and issues for the coming school year, including long-range facilities and levy/bond planning, the budget, assessment, math curriculum adoption and technology.
And members talked about options for the special programs department, which is housed in a cramped building with roof problems and other issues at the main district office.
Board members liked the idea of building a new building. They talked about options for the department in the meantime, including doing temporary repairs or renting space temporarily.
* Sara Schilling: 509-582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org