Steamboat Springs Today is the last opportunity for middle school students who have gone above and beyond in academics and community involvement to be eligible for the National Junior Honor Society.
In addition to a required 3.75 grade-point average, students must fill out a student activity form on which they list their leadership positions and community activities.
"The GPA is the first hoop they have to jump through," Sandy Hall, principal of Steamboat Springs Middle School, said of the 95 students who have jumped through that requirement.
But that first hoop is a little tougher to get through than what the National Honor Society recommends 3.5. The NHS allows schools to make certain requirement changes.
"We raised it because why not jump that bar?" said Tracey Epley, chairwoman of the Parent Information Committee at the middle school.
The selection process is not a simple one. Just turning in a completed form does not guarantee selection for the honor society.
A 45-minute prompted essay on a specific subject is another requirement of students.
The subject and due date of the essay has not yet been decided.
Students and parents filled the middle school cafeteria March 5 to hear National Junior Honor Society advisers and organizers say reviewing the activity forms will take about two weeks.
The results are expected by the end of March.
The high school chapter of National Honor Society sets the basic guidelines for the junior chapter in Steamboat.
When the faculty narrows down the students with the best qualifications, they are not looking for something specific, nor do they need to fill any quotas.
At the March 5 meeting, parents urged the committee to focus on different successes by students. Some wanted recognition of high academics scores while others wanted the committee to give more weight to effort than results.
Epley said that she, Cindy Toy and Kathy Crause are the trio who pushed this idea in the right direction, then let administrators implement the thoughts.
Steamboat's National Junior Honor Society members will get to determine activities the club will support, such as a chess club or charity event.
While talking with other schools about the junior honor society program, Epley did find out it can have a downside. She said others told her the program "created some elitism and separated a certain groups of kids."
Still, Epley said the move is a good one for the middle school.
"I think it provides a forum for kids to be with a group of the same caliber kids."