School board to get first look at grad requirements

The Juneau School District Board of Education will get its first official look at the graduation task force’s proposed requirement changes tonight.

The school board meets in a work session at 4:30 p.m. with the University of Alaska Southeast at Juneau-Douglas High School, room 206. It will then meet in regular session at 6:15 p.m. in the library, with the first agenda item of reviewing the food services contract with Nana Management. The recommendation to the board is to extend the contract for another year.

The only other item on the agenda for discussion is graduation requirements.

The task force’s second recommendation is coming to the board, which includes an increase in credits from 21.5 — the state’s lowest credit requirement for a diploma — to 23. It also keeps an increase in math and science requirements, though not necessarily as severe as the task force’s first proposal, and keeps a full credit of a foreign language.

Math and science credits will have to add up to seven total for the graduating class of 2015. Currently, students only need four total to earn a diploma — two in each category.

Students, educators and parents advocated strongly against increasing math and science requirements at the expense of electives. They said electives are what keeps students in school to learn not only the core subjects, but electives also prepare students for life outside of high school. Another sticking point was the reduction in required physical education credits. Those that advocated against the reduction said there should be an increase in required P.E. credits.

The board packet includes 60 pages of not only the proposal, but also submitted comments from the community, students, parents and educators.

For a full agenda and packet see: http://bit.ly/ecGeSo.

For prior Empire articles on the two public meetings regarding the requirements see:

http://bit.ly/ecGeSo

http://bit.ly/fkebGW

Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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