School Board Policy 599 -
Academic Recognition

Adopted: february 13, 2012
revised: february 8, 2021

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a criterion-based academic honor system which recognizes high academic achievement.

II. General Statement of Policy

Students at White Bear Lake Area High School are encouraged to strive for excellence. It is the responsibility of all school employees to challenge and support all students in the pursuit of their highest levels of academic and personal achievement. Accordingly, White Bear Lake Area High School will provide a positive and stimulating learning environment which inspires students to reach their fullest potential. The curriculum offerings provide the necessary rigor to allow students to excel and meet the highest academic standards.

The White Bear Lake Area High School diploma represents the pursuit of academic excellence. A student’s transcript reflects their personal achievement and rigorous course selection. The District has established an academic honors system to commend and recognize students for their academic excellence and success. In order to realize these goals, the system must: reflect high academic achievement; be honest, transparent and fair; be criterion-referenced; and reflect high expectations for all students across all courses and programs.

III. Definitions

A. “Criterion Referenced” is a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based.

B. “Cumulative Grade Point Average” is a calculation of the average of all of a student’s grades for all semesters and courses completed to a given academic term.

C. “Eligible Student” means any White Bear Lake student, including a transfer student, who has completed all courses and has met state and local graduation requirements. When a student has a unique circumstance, an administrative team will review the student’s transcript to determine whether the student has demonstrated academic excellence and success consistent with the spirit of this policy.

D. “Grade Point Average (GPA)” is the student’s numerical average for all courses taken. It is computed by adding the total number of the letter grade point values and dividing it by the number of credits completed.

E. “Grade Weighting” is the assignment of a greater numerical value to the letter grade’s numeric point value to reward a student completing any of the following courses:

  • Advanced Placement (AP) and taking the national assessment;
  • College in the Schools (CIS);
  • Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses that qualify for college credit and taking the required assessment for college credit.

F. "Term" is a period of time equaling one semester at the end of which grades are recorded on a student’s transcript.

G. “Term Grade Point Average” is the student’s numerical average for a given semester. It is computed by adding the total number of the letter grade point values and dividing it by the number of credits for a given semester.

IV. High Academic Honors Recognition

A. Effective with the Class of 2013, the Laude Latin model will be used to recognize academic excellence for recognition at commencement. Eligible students will work to compete against the criterion for academic honors, rather than each other.

B. An eligible student’s final cumulative, weighted GPA at the end of the second semester of senior year will be used to determine the level of honor on a high school transcript, and for academic recognition at commencement.

C. The three levels of honors to be awarded to eligible students who have acquired academic excellence are:

1. Summa Cum Laude: With Highest Distinction

Cumulative weighted GPA of 4.1 or above

2. Magma Cum Laude: With Great Distinction

Cumulative weighted GPA of 4.0-4.09

3. Cum Laude: With Distinction

Cumulative weighted GPA of 3.8-3.99

D. The weighted cumulative GPA will be used to calculate all academic honors. In the event that a miscalculation occurs, honors may be awarded after the fact; however, honors mistakenly awarded will not be retracted.

E. Honor Rolls

1. Each semester, the Honor Roll will be calculated based on the weighted term GPA.

2. Students with a term GPA of 3.67 and above will the listed on the A Honor Roll.

3. Students with a term GPA of 3.00 to 3.66 will be listed on the B Honor Roll.

F. Academic Lettering

Earning an Academic Letter is another way that White Bear Lake Area High School students can be recognized for their achievements. An eligible student must earn an overall 3.67 GPA during each of the specified grading periods (terms):

1. Seniors: Final semester of junior year and first semester of senior year.

2. Juniors: Final semester of sophomore year and first semester of junior year.

3. Sophomores: Final semester of freshman year and first semester of the sophomore year.

4. Freshmen: First semester of the freshman year.

V. Post High School Reporting

Official student transcripts will include the cumulative weighted and unweighted cumulative GPA and class rank. The transcript will also denote any cum laude honors.

VI. Treatment of Transfer Students

Students transferring to White Bear Lake Area High School will be eligible for recognition upon a review of their transcript, application of grade weighting, and verification of course rigor when applicable.

VII. Implementation

The superintendent or designee is directed and authorized to develop and approve specific procedures for the implementation of this policy.