KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP/WBBM Newsradio) – Kankakee High School will no longer have a valedictorian or salutatorian and is switching to a college-style Latin laude system starting with this year’s freshman class.

The Kankakee Daily Journal reports the Kankakee school board made the decision last week to eliminate class rankings of students from No. 1 down based on grade-point averages. In its place will be honors recognizing everyone who scores at a certain threshold. School boards nationwide have taken similar steps to reduce pressure on students to achieve a top rank.

“You can have a salutatorian with straight A’s and a valedictorian with straight A’s and the only difference is one particular class that one student chose to take over the other,” said Superintendent Genevra Walters.

Walters hopes this will encourage students to take classes they are interested in, rather than just wanting to boost their gpa.

The high school still will track rankings for colleges. But Walters said colleges have been relying less on rankings for admissions and scholarships.

Several other high schools, including Naperville North, Naperville Central and New Trier, have abandoned sharing class ranks.

(WBBM Newsradio and The Associated Press contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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