TCSS makes revisions to Val-Sal requirements

Published 8:14 am Saturday, July 22, 2023

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On Thursday, the Troup County School Board approved two new revisions to current policies for qualifications for valedictorian and salutatorian and self-payment for courses.

Jonathan Laney, secondary education director for TCSS, said the change to valedictorian and salutatorian qualifications surround IB testing.

“IB tests are given at the end of the senior year, and the end of the senior year is after we have announced the students who are valedictorian, salutatorian and distinguished honor graduates. In the past, we used the AP scores for the testing requirement through the junior year and there was enough testing done through AP through that year we had what we needed to give the titles. Now, students have to be signed up for the IB test to meet the testing requirement and have to fulfill those after we announce it,” Laney said.

In the policy, students must have taken an AP or an IB test in all four core subject areas and in a foreign language to be eligible to be valedictorian or salutatorian.

“Because the IB program doesn’t test till the end of the senior year, it made it difficult for IB kids to qualify,” Laney said. “Once they’ve signed up for the test, they have to fulfill that obligation after we announce it. If they don’t fulfill that obligation, we might have to change their honor graduate status.”

In the policy regarding self-paying for courses, Laney said the policy used to state that no self-paid courses — courses that a student paid for — that we transcript would not count towards honor graduate status.

“It was brought to our attention that some students take courses in Alabama, and because Georgia’s Move on When Ready Funds will not cover those, they’re being penalized for taking them in Alabama. So, we changed the language to be no hours above the 30 hours the State of Georgia will pay for so it is fair to all students,” Laney said.

“Students that could afford to pay for additional classes were getting additional chances to get honor points. When we changed that, we went the other direction, so people that could afford to pay for courses in Alabama we were now penalizing them. So, this language makes it equitable for all.”