New Grading System

Windsor High School will be transitioning to the Latin cum laude system.


Trent Deevers

Head principal Jason Naucke has pushed for the Latin system for several years.

McKenna Casey, Editor-in-Chief

When the current eighth graders come to Windsor High School next fall, they will coming to a new grading system at the school–the Latin cum laude system.

Summa cum laude (over 4.25 GPA), Magna cum laude (4.0-4.25GPA)  and cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA) will replace the valedictorian/salutatorian system. Collectively known as Latin honors, these three terms signify varying levels of high academic achievement. Windsor High School will be shifting over to this new Latin system over the next few years. Cum laude, pronounced “zoom latte,” means with distinction or with praise, and most colleges use this system as a form of recognition for their students.

The different levels–cum laude, summa and magna– are made of the highest academically achieved students. Rather than two individuals being recognized (valedictorian and salutatorian), the groups will contain a variety of hard working students. Principal Jason Naucke has been pushing for the switch for the past few years. 

“There’s a lot of people who do what they’re supposed to do and they excel in academics, but they are not number one or number two in the class. That usually happens because they may have taken a class, or certain classes in interest to them that weren’t necessarily honors classes. In the past, one of the reasons we wanted to move away from valedictorian and salutatorian, and why a lot of schools are doing that, is because in order to get valedictorian and salutatorian you have to take all those honors classes, and maybe not necessarily ones you want to take,” Naucke said.

He wants everyone who has done the work to get the high grades to get recognized for their efforts, not just the students who took honors classes. The new system will “level the playing field” so to speak, and allow students who may have taken non-weighted electives, like band or foods, to be recognized for their achievements.

The biggest issue with the switch that most students are experiencing is understanding who will be affected by the change, but the following chart explains this.


Year Graduating Will use Cum Laude

(new system)

Will use Top of Class

(old system)



The incoming freshmen (the class of 2023) will be the first class to exclusively use the new system.

“Just because your career path does not have a honors class associated with it, it doesn’t mean you’re not successful. I think that this (system) will broaden the spectrum (of success). There are a lot of different ways to be successful in life or in school,” Naucke said.