Students focusing on their academics, balancing that with community involvement, are coming to the forefront at Escalon High School. And a relatively new program is highlighting those achievements.
The Block E program is designed to recognize students at a couple of different academic levels, said program coordinator Gary Ball.
“It’s based on their previous year, so this year’s juniors would be applying for (grades received) their sophomore year,” Ball explained. “We base it on their weighted GPA.”
To be eligible, students must have a 4.0 or higher or be between a 3.5 to a 4.0 GPA, each with additional requirements. Those range from having AP (Advanced Placement) classes to being involved in extracurricular activities such as Academic Decathlon and taking part in clubs like Key Club, an FFA competitive team or the honor band.
“We announce it,” Ball said of seeking ‘members’ for the Block E organization. Students have to apply and, if they meet the eligibility requirements, can earn their academic awards.
“They pick up the form from me, have it signed by their advisors (club or activity) and then it goes to the counselors to check for the grades,” said Ball. “They have to do the footwork for it.”
Students can apply their sophomore, junior and senior years, since the honor is based on the previous school year’s academic achievement.
Those recognized for the first time receive a Block E that can be placed on a letterman’s jacket. Qualifying for a second year will earn the student a silver medallion pin and a third year of membership, which can only be achieved by seniors, earns the student a gold and purple medallion pin.
“This year was the first time we could honor those ‘charter’ members,” Ball said of the students that have qualified for the Block E honor each of the first three years of the program.
A special assembly was held to honor the students that qualified, at each of the three levels, and Ball said he is pleased that more students seem to be buying in, making strides toward membership.
“It has worked out pretty good,” he said.
Next week, look for the students that were honored with Block E recognition this school year, including the charter three-year members.