Is there any formal notification of NM Commended?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Is there any formal notification of NM Commended?
By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:42 am: Edit

Hi -

The school announced their NM semis this week, but nothing about commended. I asked both the principal and the GC about it since my son (score in the low 200s) was high enough to be in the commended group. Neither the principal nor the GC had ever heard of the term before??? Huh??? Am I dreaming that there IS such a category?

So is there ANY notification, like a letter from the NM people or anything? Obviously nothing will come from the school. I've seen a list with the number of semis and commendeds for the states, and - of course - the focus is on the semis, but do you just assume that one might be in the commended category or does someone tell you that?

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:47 am: Edit

They get a small certificate. At my S's school, these were presented at the end of school year awards ceremony. At other schools, where commended isn't considered a big deal, the kids are called to the guidance office to pick them up.

My guess is the schools get the certificates some times after Dec.

At a few rare schools, commended kids can get merit scholarships. I think that at St. Olafs' commended students get $500 or so.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:54 am: Edit

At my high school, a former principal invited the commended scholars and their families for a little pre-school breakfast. Last year, the finalists'names were not made public within the school. We learned about them from an online newsletter aimed at teachers (it would have been better for the information to have been made available to all students).

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:19 pm: Edit

We had an academic awards ceremony Tuesday night that we attended. My son got a couple of awards, but then they only announced the two semi-finalists that our school had. No mention of commended. There were only 448 students in Colorado that were commended, so it's not a tiny thing. I guess in some schools, they've got zillions in that category, but not ours.

Perhaps they misunderstood me when I asked about the commended category and I only got quizzical looks back from them.. It was noisy.

Anyway, I checked the NM site for counselors and found that the notifications for commended status are sent separately from (and later than) those for semis, and that the packet to the school includes letters for the students.

By Sgiovinc (Sgiovinc) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit


Isn't it tragic that highly able children are not provided with the recognition they deserve in our society? ala notifying the school, parents,teachers, and students alike that there were NM commended and semi-finalist/finalists in their school district! I bet it would broadcast all around the state if your child had pitched a no-hitter or scored the winning touchdown. Where are our priorities in this country????

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 01:49 pm: Edit

What I found sad last year was that one of the NMF is African-American. Although she was already well known in the school as a stellar student,it would have been so great to see her get this national recognition. We have over 40% minorities in our school.

By Emptynester (Emptynester) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 02:39 pm: Edit

I've had one of each- semi-finalist and commended- and the commended notice, at least for us, did come after the semi-finalist notice. Yucky, huh? Especially when you have a group of friends, all of whom are one or the other, but the commended students aren't "official" till later. I confess to calling PSAT to clarify the situation at the time. I guess I am in the minority here in not wanting everyone in town to know my kids' PSAT scores. I am as bragging a mom as exists, just not about test scores (or at least usually not about test scoresLOL) When my kids win academic contests-- I see that as the equivalent of the no-hitter. Just my pov. Of course my kids have never exactly needed any positive reinforcement with regard to their academic abilities. Maybe that would make me feel differently?

By Outwest5 (Outwest5) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 01:38 am: Edit

The commended get both a letter from the NM people and a small white certificate. Our school also sends a congratulations letter and our local assemblyman sends a congratulatory letter, too. Both the commended and the semi's are in the local paper. At the end of the year they are again recognized at the senior awards banquet.

To be commended means you missed the semi by a hair, a couple questions hair. Also, the commended students often get higher SAT1 scores than the NM Semis. ;) Some of that may be because many kids actually studied for the PSAT rather then taking it cold. The NM is based on writing and math and verbal, each third being equal. The SAT1's are only on verbal and math (well, until recently- right?). Thus the students in a school who are NM semifinalists and commended can be a big surprise to everyone. Sometimes the top students are the NM Semis, but more often than not it's that quiet kid in the back of the room. :) It is one of the only well known recognitions that favors the verbally gifted students over the mathematically/science gifted ones. The students have to test well in all three areas and most kids are pretty lopsided.

I don't think the NM means much in terms of money designated for NM at the colleges (other than a few full ride offers by various State schools), but it can help with admissions and in general school grants.

Put the commended recognition on the college applications!! It is a terrific feat to be NM commended. Congrats to your kid and shame on your school district.

By Chocoman (Chocoman) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 11:44 pm: Edit

I got my commended certificate on friday. i have to retype an application now to include it.

By Marite (Marite) on Sunday, September 26, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit


I don't know about other areas, but in MA, you need 200 for Commended--as elsewhere, but 222 for NM semi-finalist. I suspect that the difference must be more than "a hair."

By Searchingavalon (Searchingavalon) on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 08:06 am: Edit

Our local newspaper just lists the semis. But my D's school sent out an email message to all the parents in the school congratulating, and listing by name, all the semis and all the commendeds.

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