Even when schools report class rank, we have to dig around to figure out what the numbers mean. My favorite example: a student was ranked #1 in her class, which was a total of 120-150 students. However, she shared that rank with 44 others. It doesn't look so impressive when you see that #1 in context.
We treat GPA similarly. We look to the SSR to tell us the highest and lowest GPAs in the class, how many A's are being given (grade distribution charts) and how classes are weighted to help us interpret the GPA.