Rothstein addresses honor roll decision

The Wilton High School administration’s decision to not publicize the honor roll beginning this school year is “really just a small part of a larger discussion around reward recognition, grading, and that sort of thing,” Lory Rothstein, a member of the Board of Education’s Teaching and Learning Committee, said at the board’s Jan. 10 meeting.

Beyond the administration’s decision to not publicize the honor roll, Rothstein said, “no decisions” have been made to change the honor roll “in any way.”

“The program of studies is going to go out for the next school year; it's going to include the honor roll, and the honor roll will be in place next year,” she said.

“We’ll keep you all posted should that change, but for now everything is pretty much status quo.”

During a Teaching and Learning Committee meeting this past fall, Rothstein said, there was “robust discussion” about the pros and cons of publishing the honor roll.

“There was a kind of consensus in the room that that day that it would be better for privacy issues for the students to no longer publish it,” she said.

Superintendent Kevin Smith said the high school’s honor roll has been and on-and-off-again discussion since last year.

“I think the question is: What is and should constitute academic honors? So, the high school staff did some analysis, and the GPA cutoff for our honor roll — not our high honor roll — was actually a couple of tenths of a point lower, I think, than some of the surrounding DRG,” he said.

“Given the large number of kids who achieve it — not looking to diminish their success — but I think it legitimately raised the question of: Is the honor roll serving its purpose?”

Rothstein noted that the first-quarter honor roll “came and went” with “not a single word from students, parents — even the newspapers.”

“Those who earned honors received … received their certificate and all that stuff, and all that was fine,” she said.

“Nobody contacted the schools in any way to say, ‘Hey, where’s the honors list? It’s not published.’ It’s almost as if it wasn’t missed.”

Rothstein said it wasn’t until The Wilton Bulletin article about the honor roll not being published that she saw people expressing disapproval online.

However, she said, “with any decision we make — whether it’s the calendar, the budget, or whatever — there’s always going to be people in favor and people who are opposed.”