New graduation requirements adopted in Mabton

MABTON - The Mabton School Board voted to adopt new graduation requirements Monday night, after a review of the 2006 policy.

Although the current graduation requirements exceed the state's minimal requirements, the school board and Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis agreed the policy needed revisions to meet standards the district has set.

The current graduation requirements of the district were adopted in 2006 and, it was recently realized that they do not apply to the class of 2008, who was "grandfathered" into the policy adopted in 2004.

To better establish the graduation requirements for the classes of 2009 and 2010, the school board revisited the policy adopted in 2006 to establish the district's expectations.

Revisions were also made to the 2006 policy and adopted for the class of 2011 and beyond.

The board members felt three credits of math should be required in the new policy for grades 9-12 to meet standards of rigor set within the district. The class of 2008, 2009 and 2010 were required to earn two math credits as stated within the state graduation requirements.

The board also stated that language should be included in the policy to require students already meeting required Digitools standards to take another technology credit for better college preparation.

Under the new requirements, a total of 2.5 occupational education credits must be met, instead of one, for Mabton students to graduate. Washington state requires one occupational education credit.

Also added to the policy is language stating the district will pay for diplomas and final transcripts. This was a topic of discussion at the board's March meeting because the parent booster club had discovered students were paying for the diplomas out of ASB funds.

The new policy, adopted last night, also provides a breakdown of required social studies credits. The former policy did not provide a break-down, but merely required 2.5 credits of social studies, including civics, history and geography. Students must now take a U.S. history or government credit, a half-credit of Washington state history and one contemporary world history and problems credit. Added to those requirements, Mabton students must now also take a half-credit of geography.

Overall, the state requires 19 credits to graduate high school, and Mabton School District requires its students to earn 24 credits.

Stressed by the board was the need to prepare students for life after high school.

School board chairperson Jeanette Williams said, "We want our students to succeed."



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