District Committee Studies Local Graduation Requirements
District seeks input in proposed graduation requirements and competencies
A committee of teachers, administrators, students and parents is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the graduation requirements for the Emporia Public Schools.
The committee has been working since November to review existing graduation requirements to insure they meet current expectations of state law, standards adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education, and the new vision of the Kansas Commissioner of Education.
The state of Kansas requires students to have a minimum of 21 units of credit for graduation in English, history and government, science, math, physical education and fine arts. Emporia requires 24 units of credit with requirements that exceed state minimums in English, consumer education, practical arts and physical education.
Graduation committee members have reviewed current graduation expectations, specifically looking at the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards, the expectation of the Rose Standards, and the vision of the KBOE and Education Commissioner.
One of the gaps found in the local requirements is they do not address many of the non-academic skills and competencies that parents, educators and employers want from Kansas graduates, according to Dr. George Abel, assistant superintendent of Teaching and Learning. In addition, the local requirements only offered students the flexibility of six electives.
New graduation requirements have been drafted with two primary changes: first, an increase in electives to give students more flexibility and secondly, the addition of competencies to demonstrate non-academic qualities needed in the workplace.
The committee is now seeking feedback on Draft Graduation Requirements and Competencies. The committee hopes to hear from students, educators, parents and the business community that employs EHS graduates. The committee will make a recommendation to the Emporia Board of Education in the spring. Any changes to graduation requirements will go into effect for the incoming freshman class, the graduating class of 2020/
A summary of the Draft Graduation Requirements and Competencies and a feedback form can be found on the district website at www.usd253.org.