The new scale went into effect the 2015-16 school year. Prior to 2015-16, high school students were graded on a seven-point scale which resulted in grade point averages with decimals, making it easier to identify a single valedictorian and salutatorian.
In 2018-2019, when the freshman class from 2015-16 becomes seniors, this change will create the possibility of multiple students identified as valedictorian and salutatorian.
Many school districts in North Carolina and across the country have already moved away from the valedictorian and salutatorian recognitions. Instead, many school districts recognize either: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude Latin recognitions. Students will continue to have a class rank but rather than valedictorian and salutatorian recognitions students will receive the Latin honors recognitions.
Using the Latin honors recognitions, students will compete against themselves instead of each other.