Students at Canton High School may soon be able to take part in a new program designed to provide special recognition to students showing extra effort in their educational careers.

Students at Canton High School may soon be able to take part in a new program designed to provide special recognition to students showing extra effort in their educational careers.


Instructors Jodi Eberle and Ashley Krulac presented a proposal during the Monday Board of Education meeting to include a Cum Laude program at CHS which would encourage students to develop to the fullest potential, engage in lifelong learning and be responsible members of society. The program is a rigorous educational, service and social experience which provides students an opportunity to excel and show growth for the post secondary world.


The presenters, representing a committee of faculty members who devised the program, said their hope was the program would foster a positive, well-rounded high school experience and promote citizenship in the school and local community, as well as enable students to create stronger college, workforce and scholarship applications.


Students completing the Cum Laude program would earn special cords to be worn at graduation, recognition during the graduation ceremony, a certificate of completion, a note of merit placed on their official school transcript and special recognition at the May board of education meeting.


Students wanting to take part in the program must complete an Intent to Participate form by Sept. 1 of each school year, which must be signed by both the student and their parents, outlining the requirements the student needs to complete as they progress through the program.


If there is a gap in participation, students may keep credits previously earned but must meet extra requirements if they decide to participate in the future.


Students are required to keep their own record of participation in the program. Students will also create a digital photo to collect, file and share information with the committee.


Requirements for the program include the areas of scholarship, character, community service, responsibility, school spirit and excellence.


Students achieving Cum Laude recognition must have completed a minimum of 25 semester hours toward graduation, verified by the guidance office, prior to the graduation ceremony, and should have no in-school and out-of-school suspensions on record during their high school career. By April 1 of their senior year they must also submit two letters of recommendation to the guidance office describing their character, work ethic or other positive characteristics showing them deserving of the recognition. In addition, they must be in attendance at school for 97 percent of in-session days over four years, as well as maintaining a record of punctuality.


Students must also complete a prescribed number of community service hours and be an active member of school teams, clubs or organizations. They must also attend 24 extracurricular activities with which they are not directly affiliated.


Students are also expected to take two capstone or top-level courses as determined by the various academic departments. They must pass these courses with a C or higher. The intent, said Eberle and Krulac, was to make sure students take higher level courses and not simply take less demanding classes to improve their grade point average. There is no grade point requirement for Cum Laude recognition.


“We would rather have students get a C in an upper level class than an A in a less demanding course,” said the presenters.


Students may also meet with the Cum Laude committee to request a variance from the program’s criteria if extenuating circumstances come up.


Board members expressed overwhelming support for the proposed program and thanked the faculty who had taken part in its development. However, some board members were concerned about opening the program up to only freshman during the next academic year and suggested allowing all classes to take part in the program.


Student Board Representative Brian Duvendack, a senior at Canton High School, said he would have been happy to take part in such a program. He also said that he and several other seniors he knew, would have been able to receive this recognition for graduation this year.


Board members agreed to table the measure until either the next board meeting or a special board meeting in order to study the matter more thoroughly and to allow the committee to take the questions of board members into consideration.