Open Forum

Senior honors

  • 1.  Senior honors

    Posted 27 days ago
    I'm having a small dilemma that I'd love some advice on:

    I have two senior girls who have a 2.98 and a 2.88 GPA for work up until 1st semester this year. Because we are going to a pass/fail for this semester, there will be no GPA impacts for anyone, good or bad. The thing is that both of these girls were working to correct pretty traumatic freshman and sophomore years, but had consistently high grades since. One of them has had a 4.0 the last 3 semesters and had a 3.9 for the first 6 weeks. The other was just starting to get her footing, but had a 4.0 first semester and was on track for a 3.5 for this semester.

    I'm confident that they both would have reached the 3.0 requirement to be designated as Scholar Thespian, but didn't have the chance to make it official. My math showed that they would have needed a 3.1 and a 3.85, respectively, to have a 3.0 to end the year. Can I still make that designation, and thus, give them the blue cords to wear for their now virtual graduations?

    Jodi Disario
    Director of Theatre Arts
    Willow Glen High School
    San Jose, CA

  • 2.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hi Jodi,

    I am guessing that some troupes do cords differently.  In our troupe, students are eligible to receive honor cords based on their number of points and not their GPA.  If they reach 60 points (honor thespian designation), they can buy cords.  If they get to 120 (national thespian), they can add on a medal and if they get to 180, then the stole is added as an option.  Our former troupe director had been doing it that way for years....the GPA levels, I believe...only came out a few years back and that's when those other designations came into play (Scholar, Vice President's List Scholar, and President's List Scholar).  Maybe it's not possible for you to change up how your troupe does things at this point.

    We (the former troupe director and I) were glad when the scholar designations came up because 1) it gave us...well, the kids really...leverage on their bid to have the district give them permission to wear their thespian honor cords at graduation (before it could only be the cords for the academic National Honor Society).  Now they are allowed to wear their ITS cords.

    But it also gave us a way to recognize those graduating seniors who don't have 60 points since we can order the certificates ITS has for those 3 scholar ranks.

    I guess my interpretation is that the honor cords (and medal/stole) are to honor their commitment and dedication to the program....which I love for exactly your situation.  We all have those students who struggle academically and may always hover just under that 3.0 GPA...and for some, unless they had theatre to come to school for...may have not have even come to school but theatre kept them around.  Even before our kids could wear their honor cords to graduation, kids who knew they had no chance of getting a GPA high enough to let them be in the academic National Honor Society knew they'd have ITS cords honoring their commitment to theatre (most of them would wear their cords under their robes and as soon as the ceremony was done...pull them out).  And the scholar levels/certificates gives us the option to now honor those other students who love theatre as much as those kids who LIVE in the theatre every spare minute of their day....BUT are also involved in other activities that pull them away sometimes so they don't have the 60 hours needed for the honor cords OR came into the program too late for them to realistically be able to earn 60 points.

    Just my 2 cents. :-D

    Lynda Gibson
    Troupe 2829
    Flushing High School
    Junior Troupe 88305
    Flushing Middle School

  • 3.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 27 days ago
    I would say to follow your heart on this decision.  This time has called us to look at things from a new perspective and make adaptations as we need.  We are faced with a similar situation in that our spring musical was cancelled, so I will proceed to award those points as if it had occurred as that seems the right thing to do, to me.  And, I think we also have a wide range of discretion at this time to all do what we feel is right for our programs.

    Michael Johnson
    Trinity NC

  • 4.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 27 days ago
    As a 1977 graduate of Willow Glen (Go RAMS) and a multi year/show student of Joe Parker, I would advise to extend the grace and give the cord.  You are betting on your students and I can't think of anything better to wager on than the youth of today.  Had it not been for the guidance, grace, and encouragement from my drama teacher at 2001 Cottle Ave I wouldn't be in my 3rd decade as an Educator and 7th year as State Director for the EdTA in Tennessee.   Give the cords!  You will forget about it in a couple years, they will remember them the rest of their lives!

    Mark Saltalamachia
    Williamson County Board of Education
    Christiana TN

  • 5.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 27 days ago
    Give it to them. They would have made it. That will help them in this trying time. You want to do it, do it. No regrets.

    All the best.

  • 6.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 26 days ago
    It seems they've worked very hard to achieve higher grades and deserve accolades for it. My two cents.

  • 7.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 26 days ago
    The game has changed, so I think the rules have to change as well. This was totally out of their control. I think you have to be more subjective than you probably want to be and ask yourself "had the year ended as it should have, what would I have done." I would definitely give them the cord!

    Dawn Rollins
    Theatre Director
    Spartanburg SC

  • 8.  RE: Senior honors

    Posted 25 days ago
    Loving ALL of the responses and the support to err on the side of honoring the students, especially now! All I'm adding in here is that EdTA defers to the decision of the teacher in these instances, so there's no hard and fast rule that you must abide by or that we would enforce.

    We are just so thrilled to continue to see all of you doing what you can to support, recognize, and honor your students during these turbulent times.

    EdTA supports, recognizes, and honors YOU THE EDUCATORS!!!

    EdTA Core Values: People Matter

    Hans Weichhart
    Chief Relationship Officer
    Cincinnati OH