Principal Alexis Meyer who heads up Archie R. Cole Middle School in East Greenwich, Rhode Island raised the ire of parents by canceling the school's long-standing Honors Night for exceptional students Monday.
In an email signed by Meyer and Assistant Principal Daniel Seger, students and parents were informed that "members of the school community" have long expressed concerns related to the "exclusive nature" of Honors Night.
"Therefore, we have made the collective decision to recognize students during team-based recognition ceremonies and graduation," said Meyer.
Doing away with the traditional evening held to honor the hard work and commitment to academic excellence of high-achieving students did not sit well with many parents and student body.
Meyer failed to supply the names of faculty and members of the "school community" who petitioned against setting aside an evening to recognize exceptional students in her brief memo.
Meanwhile, canceling Honors Night has angered many parents and students who feel the night served as an incentive to seek a higher level of learning. Some say without such recognition, many students capable of making the grades may slack off since the principal took away their chance of making the Honors Night manifest.
WLNE-TV spoke to Cole Middle School student, Kaitlyn Kosloski, who did not make it into last year’s Honor Night; she seemed disillusioned by the abrupt change ordered by Meyer. “That’s why I strived to do better this year,” said Kaitlyn. “I knew a lot of my friends who had gone and they said it was extremely exciting that they had earned this award.”
Kaitlyn’s father, Joe Kosloski, told WLNE the school's decision sends the wrong message to kids about how the real world works. “How else are they supposed to learn coping skills, not just based on success, but relative failure. It might not even be failure, but understanding what it takes to achieve high levels.” Kaitlyn felt that Honors Night served as an incentive and said, “That made me wanna work harder and a lot of other people wanna work harder, so just the fact you can’t work towards it anymore and then there is no goal.”
Nevertheless, the short if controversial electronic letter mandated that honoring students for outstanding academic performance at Archie R. Cole Middle School is hereby banned by school administration.
Accordingly the school reportedly make similar changes in how sporting awards are presented to its most athletic students.