NATIONAL JUNIOR HONOR SOCIETY
Frequently Asked Questions
PURPOSE: What is the purpose of the National Junior Honor Society?
The purpose of the SGGS Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, promote leadership and service, and encourage the development of character and citizenship in all Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School students.
ELIGIBILITY: Who is eligible to apply for membership in the National Junior Honor Society?
Grade 7 and Grade 8 students must have been in attendance for a period equivalent to one semester at SGGS. For selection into the NJHS, students must have met the academic requirement, contributed service to the community, demonstrated leadership in the school or community, and be a student of high moral character and an outstanding citizen.
SCHOLASTIC ELIGIBILITY: What is the GPA requirement to apply for membership?
Students enrolled in regular or advanced classes in grades 7 and 8 with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.70 (not rounded) or above for the first semester will meet academic eligibility standards for the SGGS Chapter. The Grading Scale is 93-100 (4.0), 90-92 (3.7), 87-89 (3.3), 83-86 (3.0), 80-82 (2.7), 77-79 (2.3) 73-76 (2.0), 70-72 (1.7), 67-69 (1.3), 66 and below (1.0). Use your final report card grades from sixth grade, seventh grade, and the first semester of eighth grade to convert percents to point value numbers. Total the points for each grading period. Divide the total number of points by the number of grades received to find the GPA.
SERVICE REQUIREMENT: What activities would qualify for the service requirement?
A characteristic of an NJHS member is to give selflessly for the benefit of others. Seventh grade students applying for membership must have evidence of completing the required 15 hours as well as an additional 5 hours of participation in a service project within school or the community during the current school year and/or summer leading to the current school year. Eighth grade students applying for membership must complete the required 20 service hours along with an additional 5 hours. To qualify, the student should not be the recipient of benefit from the project (example: Boy Scouts doing a car wash to raise money for their troop). Rather, students may, independently or as a member of an organization, perform acts of service that benefit others outside of their own affiliation. Examples would include participating as an active member of a Relay for Life team, helping with concessions at sports events, volunteering at the SPCA cleaning cages, or sorting clothing donations for a homeless shelter. Donating money or items to a charity does not meet the requirement—donating time is what is important. Participation must be verified by an official representative of the service group. Parental signatures verifying service activities will not be accepted.
Students who are accepted into NJHS will be required to complete a minimum of ten community service hours, five each semester in addition to the required service hours for eighth grade. NJHS and other school clubs will offer opportunities for students to meet some of this requirement. Students should expect to complete at least half of their service project hours outside the SGGS organized events.
LEADERSHIP: How does a student demonstrate leadership?
Student leaders are those who lead like a saint. They are resourceful, good problem solvers, and exemplify positive attitudes about the gift of life. They stand out from their peers by setting the example for others to follow in school or in the community. This is often demonstrated by a student being selected from his or her peers to lead a group, team, or class. Examples of student leaders would include sport team captains, school club executive board members, homeroom representatives, religious small group leaders, and service project group coordinators, to name a few. One leadership role during enrollment in middle school, verified by an adult leader of the organization cited, is required to apply for membership.
CHARACTER: What expectations are there for candidates regarding their character?
A student of good character lives by and upholds Gospel values, principles of morality and ethics, is cooperative, demonstrates high standards of honesty and reliability, and shows courtesy, concern, and respect for others. The student demonstrates a strong foundation in faith as well as an outstanding record of conduct and behavior with regard to school and community rules. The student does the right thing even when not being observed because the student is not motivated by the need for recognition. Teachers, coaches, and sponsors will be asked to report on behalf of the applicant. Staff assessments will remain confidential and will not be shared with students or parents.
CITIZENSHIP: What behaviors constitute a good citizen?
A student who demonstrates citizenship understands the dignity of the human person, civic involvement for the greater good, has a high regard for freedom, justice, and democracy, and demonstrates mature participation in school and community extracurricular activities. Good citizens also contribute positively in the classroom learning environment and to other school organizations. They demonstrate the utmost respect to Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School and all its citizens. As an applicant, you will have the opportunity to share the extent of your school involvement. Teachers, coaches, and sponsors will contribute feedback on your level and quality of citizenship. Staff assessments will remain confidential and will not be shared with students or parents.
CANDIDATE NOTIFICATION: When will I know if I am eligible to apply for membership?
After the first semester grading period, candidate forms will be delivered to 7th and 8th grade students meeting the academic eligibility requirements during their homeroom class. The candidate form provides students an opportunity to showcase their involvement in school and community activities along with any leadership positions held. Candidates will be able to document an outstanding record of conduct or demonstrate growth to compensate for previous disciplinary actions. Members are selected based on their level of scholarship, service, leadership, citizenship, and character taken as a whole.
INDUCTION PROCESS: When will I know if I was selected for membership?
After candidate forms have been reviewed by the NJHS Faculty Council, those students selected for membership will be notified during the school day. Parents will be notified in writing of the selection decision. There will be an informational meeting concerning details of the formal Induction Ceremony for those students who will be inducted as new members. The Induction Ceremony takes place during the annual awards ceremony at the end of the school year.
MEMBERSHIP OBLIGATIONS: What will be expected of me if I become a member of NJHS?
Members are expected to maintain the standards for initial selection. If a member’s GPA falls below 3.70, his or her membership will be put on probation. The student will have the next nine week grading period to meet the GPA requirement. Parents will be notified if a student’s membership enters probation. If a member cannot raise the GPA, then he or she may be considered for dismissal. In the case of a violation of school rules, a member will not be warned prior to dismissal.
Members of NJHS are expected to participate in chapter activities, NJHS service projects, assist with duties, and attend meetings. All of these are necessary for membership in the organization. Plan to participate in NJHS events over the course of the school year. There will be at least one general membership meeting each quarter. Students may not miss more than one meeting.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: What kind of activities and events does NJHS sponsor?
The SGGS Chapter of NJHS conducts various service projects throughout the school year. For example, the SGGS NJHS coordinates a food drive for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, volunteers at various elementary school functions, makes crafts and delivers items for children in crisis, and volunteers hours in the concession stand during home basketball events. Members have an opportunity to suggest Society service projects during all our meetings.
OFFICERS: Are there officers in NJHS? How and when are they chosen?
The officers of the SGGS Chapter of NJHS are elected by a majority of votes cast during the first regular meeting of the year.