Algebra II added to growing list of graduation requirements

By Alyssa Vallester

Graduation requirements at MTHS are changed, with the addition of a third year of math for the class of 2013 and beyond.
The class of 2013 and beyond will have to take three years of math in order to graduate. In their third year, the students are designated to take Algebra II, but could take other forms of math according to their career plan.
The district does not know yet which alternatives students could take besides Algebra II. The math requirements were changed because Algebra II is a requirement for all public four year colleges and universities in Washington state.
“Having a strong math background allows students to be more successful in community colleges, trade schools, and in work. This ability to do high level of work like this prepares students for many post- high school options and I think it sets them up to be more successful,” Principal Greg Schwab said.
There are also other ways to earn those high school credits other than going to school on regular days. Students can take online courses for credit, but the online provider must be one that the district approves.
Schwab advises students to talk to their counselors about the credits that could be earned. Another way is to apply to alternative programs or Running Start through Edmonds Community College. The district offers CLIP classes (credit recovery) at MTHS to be put to good use for students who need to catch up in order to graduate. The requirement for three years of math includes additional math classes taken outside of high school, such as in classes taken in middle school.
For example, students who took Algebra I and/or Geometry in middle school will only need to take one more year of math in high school, which is Algebra II. However, they could take additional math classes if their career plan requires them to. Some optional math classes include: pre-calculus, calculus, and statistics.
Other requirements include: All students have to pass the HSPE in reading, writing, and math. The class of 2013 and beyond must also pass the science HSPE. Seniors are required to complete and present a culminating project based on a field of study and complete a high school and beyond plan throughout high school.
“Earning a high school diploma is critical for every student in order to be successful in whatever next steps they plan to take beyond high school,” Schwab said.
Whether it be college, the military, a trade school, or simply getting a job, having a high school diploma is something that every student should work toward, Schwab said.