NEISD changing class rank policy to alleviate students’ stress, bring more opportunities

NEISD board of trustees votes on new policy to remove class ranking for students who are not in the top 10%

SAN ANTONIO – On Monday, North East Independent School District trustees voted to stop calculating class rankings for all students except the top 10%.

“This would provide opportunities for our kids to explore other avenues of interest for them. Some of our wonderful career and technology courses, as well as wonderful fine arts or athletics, whereas before, they might have been so focused on chasing those courses that would rank higher when it came to the GPA," said Donna Newman, associate superintendent of instruction and campus administration at NEISD.

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Newman said the decision will help alleviate the stress that students feel about rankings. She said the district had been looking into this change since 2018.

Newman said district officials met with school administrators and counselors. They also advertised meetings throughout the district and invited parents to look at the plan and give their input.

Newman said district officials also spoke with university officials. They found during the admission process that some universities are looking at a student’s entire academic experience, not just their rank.

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“For the top 10% of our state universities, they look for the top 10. If it's not there … they will look at other things. If the rank is not there, and if we don't report rank, they look at community service, they look at the coursework, the variety coursework that students have taken. They look for extracurricular activities,” Newman said.

The new policy begins when the district's current seventh graders go to high school.

"Anybody in eighth grade or high school right now, nothing is changing for them. This is strictly for our seventh grade students who are just now choosing their eighth grade courses and beginning their career pathway through high school,” Newman said.

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