LOCKPORT -- It appears Lockport High School seniors are going to have to work hard a little longer to earn a high place in their class rankings.
The Lockport School Board on Wednesday agreed to honor a proposal to change the traditional time when class rankings are calculated. It has been calculated from the end of the first half of senior year. The proposed change would do the math at the end of 30 weeks, three-quarters into the year.
The board moved to have its Policy Committee, chaired by Board President Marietta Schrader, rewrite the policy and extend the calculation date for class ranking to the end of the third quarter -- sometime in March -- and bring it back to the full board for approval.
When member Thomas W. Fiegl asked why the change was requested, Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Assessment Michelle T. Bradley said the school Guidance Department made the request of Principal Frank Movalli in an effort to keep students more engaged in their studies longer into their senior year.
Fiegl asked if seniors have been slacking off with their work once they received their class ranking in January.
"That's what they'd like to avoid," Bradley responded, noting that it would be human nature to want to blow off the rest of the senior year once the incentive to work hard is gone.
"I don't know that there's been a research project done [to establish that happens], but I think from what the administrators and counselors apparently are seeing, it seems to make sense we extend that another quarter," Bradley said.
She said, however, students tend to work harder when they are competing to see how high they will be ranked academically among their calssmates.
School Superintendent Terry Ann Carbone agreed.
"What we are doing is holding kids accountable for as long as possible in their senior year," Carbone said. "Historically we have calculated the honors grade rankings at the end of the first semester. Now we want to keep the kids on their toes a little bit longer and move that back to the end of the third quarter so they aren't too tempted to take it easy" through the end of the year.