Recognizing Achievement: Laude System

  • In Rockwood, we prepare our graduates for college, career and citizenship. All four high schools use the Ladue system to recognize graduates for their success in rigorous programs. These designations use weighted grades: cum laude (3.5), magna cum laude (3.75) and summa cum laude (4.0). The Board of Education approved the new academic recognition and eliminated the class ranking system beginning with the Class of 2013 for the following reasons:

    High Achievement: Students are more focused on the educational value of their class selection. They choose to take a broader range of course work to balance and improve their educational experience - rather than selecting a course for the potential weighted grade to increase their "top 10" class ranking.

    Top Performing Schools: Schools around the state and nation can be vastly different. Students from different high schools may have selected vastly different courses and may have earned different grades - but have the same class rank to report to colleges as Rockwood students in their top-performing schools. It is important to note that Rockwood schools collectively make up one of the highest achieving districts in the state and nation.

    Increase Post-Secondary Opportunities: Research shows that colleges may consider applicants more individually when class rank is not a factor. Factors such as academics, test scores, course rigor and extracurricular activities may become the focus. Most importantly, it means that our graduates applying for college will be competing with all applicants, not just the students within their own high school.