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BOE Votes to Eliminate Reporting ‘Rank-in-Class’ to Colleges

The Levittown Board of Education unanimously voted Jan. 11 to eliminate the reporting of “rank-in-class” to colleges and universities, effective with the 2012-13 school year.

“The trend across the county, in Suffolk, the lower Hudson, and the tri-state area really is to move away from assigning specific class ranking, and reporting that number to colleges,” Superintendent James Grossane said. “Colleges are looking more and more at the strength of the programs that students take, and as student grades have risen, students with an average grade of as high as 85 on any given year would end up in the bottom 50 percent of one of our graduating classes.”

Grossane added that not reporting class rank to colleges means that student applications will have a better chance of getting looked at. “Some universities won’t look at you at all if you’re in the bottom 50 percent,” he noted. “However, if you don’t rank, they are more inclined to look at your transcript and full body of work more closely. The experience of many school districts around the area is that they’ve seen a rise in acceptance rates of students to more competitive and more prestigious colleges [after removing the reporting of class rank.]” Trustee Peter Porrazzo noted in the discussion “27 of 33 schools sampled in the area have eliminated the reporting of class-ranking to colleges.”

In other matters, the board recognized MacArthur students Jackie Sullivan and Melissa Slyper for finishing as INTEL semi-finalists, and Levittown’s Esta Lachow and Gina Interdonato were awarded certificates for their efforts in coordinating the Adopt-a-Family program. Several Summit Lane elementary students also made a “Summit Spotlight on Science” presentation, complete with poems about science and stories of their recent field trips, to the board and audience on hand. The board also expressed its sorrow at the untimely passing of Dennys Barrera, a student who attended Wisdom Lane Middle School.

Additionally, the long-awaited renovations for Division Avenue’s cafeteria are on track for a late-summer completion if all goes according to plan. The architect in charge of the project wasn’t in attendance at the meeting due to a recent knee injury, but Mark Flower, Levittown’s new Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, updated the board on the cafeteria renovation timeline.

Flower said that the company in charge of renovating the cafeteria at Division Ave High School is in the final stages of preparing specifications, and hopes to have them done by the end of January. The plan is then to present the final proposal for the project to the board at the Jan. 25 planning session at Levittown Memorial Education Center. Flower added that the company should be able to begin ordering and gathering supplies for the project in the beginning of June, and the “certificate of substantial completion” should be submitted back for approval by August 12, 2012.  As of Jan. 12, the board is still waiting to receive final estimates on pricing for the project.

Levittown’s Board of Education will hold a planning session on Jan. 25, and a regular meeting on Feb. 8. Both events will be held at the Levittown Memorial Education Center at 7:30 p.m.