At our last School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting, which includes students, parents, teachers, administrators and representatives of our partner organizations (Asia Society and College of Staten Island), the team heard the voices of each constituency regarding the issue of publicly ranking our senior students and indicating each student's rank on his/her transcript. To ensure that we had an accurate assessment of each constituency's opinion on the matter, prior to the meeting many team members spoke with members of the group they represent to become more informed about their opinions on ranking. In fact, junior student SLT members Ama and Elizabeth visited to junior advisories to discuss the issue with their class mates; our soon to be first seniors! Additionally, the entire team reviewed previous blog posts by students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Although the SLT does realize that public ranking may benefit a few students, the consensus was that those benefits are greatly outweighed by the risks this creates for our entire school community. Since we are such a small school, with an even smaller graduating class, very few students would be in the top 10% of the graduating class. Also, with this information being public, many of our students who work very hard every day to do their best, but who still might not be in the top of the class, will feel like their hard work has not paid off. Further, we have worked very hard to create a learning environment and a school community that is nurturing and supportive. The SLT strongly felt that public ranking would undermine that culture and create competition between our students and has thus decided that we will not publicly rank students.
However, the SLT does realize that certain colleges and universities do ask about student's standing in relation to their class (although most colleges rank applicants on their own scale). As such, on senior transcripts that are sent to colleges we will note that if the school is interested in knowing a student's rank, they can contact our school and we will share that information with them. All members of SLT felt that this policy does not discriminate against students who are applying to schools that want to be informed of their relative ranking, yet does not undermine the culture of community, caring, support and nurturing we have worked so hard to establish at College of Staten Island High School of International Studies.