Grad requirements revised, again

By Suzanne Cho

Graduation is something that high school students look forward to in their senior year. There are certain graduation requirements that students must have in order to graduate. However, recent changes have been made to these graduation requirements and will be taking place in the ’09-’10 school year. Every class, freshman to senior, will be affected by these new changes.

One of the more significant graduation requirements is the High School Proficency Exam. Beginning in the spring of 2010, WASL will be replaced with the HSPE. This new test will be shorter to take, but just as rigorous. Long answers on math, reading and science assessments will be shortened to make the assessment more efficient.

“As far as the HSPE goes, students will not be testing in the gym anymore because it is expensive to rent the tables,” Assistant Principal Scott Morrison said, “Instead, the students will be taking the new test in classrooms. Over the next few years, a possibility that could happen is online testing. ”

The math, reading, and science portions of the HSPE test will only take one day to test, whereas the WASL it took two days for each portion to test. The writing portion of the HSPE will take only two days to test.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said that the WASL was changed in a way so that the test will take less time to complete and put less stress on the students. For the class of 2011-2012, students must pass the reading and writing assessments of the HSPE in order to graduate. The class of 2013 will be the first to be required to pass the reading, writing, math, and science assessments of the test. The dates for the HSPE will be: March 16 – reading, March 17 & 18 – writing, April 13 – math, and April 15 – writing.

Another graduation requirement that students need to pass in order to graduate is the culminating project. This year’s culminating project will have some changes made to the requirements.

For the 2010 class, seniors must meet certain deadlines on time such as the proposal and presentation. If students miss deadlines, they may be ineligible to walk at graduation.

“A lot of students last year were unable to pass their senior project because they didn’t meet standard on their presentations.” Senior project advisor Dan Falk said, “This year, we as the staff, are trying to make more students meet standard on their presentations in order for them to graduate.”

Students will need to pass their senior project presentations in order to walk with the graduating class at graduation. If the students meet deadlines and apply the feedback they are given to their project and presentation, then they will pass their senior project.