At issue was whether students attending the Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematic and Science in Kentucky, which is located on Western Kentucky University’s campus in Bowling Green, would still be able to qualify at honors graduates, valedictorians or salutatorians at TCHS. Several parents and other guests came to the meeting to question a policy that only allowed students who had “attended” high school at TCHS for four years to be in the running for valedictorian.
Principal Neal Cummins said he had sent out questionnaires to other schools to see how they had handled it. He said there seemed to be two schools of thought on the matter. One was that if a student had accepted the challenge of taking what are essentially college courses at the Gatton Academy, then it really doesn’t matter if the student is in the running for valedictorian because that student is involved in something much more important. The other thought on the matter was that those students had worked hard to get where they are and should be honored at their home school for that.
The council discussed changing a policy that says a student must attend TCHS for four years to be considered for graduation honors. Mary Jo Bryant, whose daughter, Taylor, is in the Academy, said it wasn’t fair to exclude these exceptional students because the school is “reaping the benefits of their test scores.” She said she had talked to other schools that had allowed their students to be considered for graduation honors.
After some discussion of the policy, the district’s assistant superintendent of instruction, Beth Sumner, said she wasn’t sure if there was any need to change the existing policy, because she didn’t think the word, “attend,” necessarily meant the student had to literally be under the roof of TCHS for all four years of high school. She said that the Gatton Academy students were still getting attendance credit in Trigg County and are enrolled there. She also said that homebound students are technically enrolled in the schools as well. As far as she could tell, the word, “attend,” meant the same as “enrolled” in the context of the policy, Sumner said.
For full details on the SBDMC meeting, see the current Cadiz Record.