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B-P updating graduation requirements

Inviting the community to join conversation

BROADALBIN — In order to keep up with the expectations of graduating high school students heading to college or entering the workforce, educators at the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District are working to update the district’s graduation requirements for the first time in more than 30 years.

According to a press release, educators want graduation requirements to reflect what today’s students need to know to be successful after high school. To help with this process, district leaders are inviting community members to join the conversation during a series of forums.

For over a year, teachers and administrators from every school in the district met to research, brainstorm and discuss what skills and knowledge students need to be successful after high school, the release states. Educators have also examined current trends in college admissions; local, regional and national job markets; and traits employers look for in potential employees.

“School districts around the country are looking at how the nature of work is evolving and how they can align students’ educational experiences more closely with the needs of the modern workforce,” said Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson. “But this effort goes beyond college and careers to look at everything students need to lead successful, fulfilling lives which is something we all want for our children.”

Tomlinson said Broadalbin has been using national resources such as Portrait of a Graduate and LifeReady resources from the National School Boards Association to help guide educators in their work to come up with new graduation requirements.

According to the release, B-P’s LifeReady community forum series begins with a college admissions panel discussion co-hosted the Greater Johnstown School District. Representatives from colleges across the state will discuss what college admission counselors really look for when considering applications. Any community members who would like to attend to forum can RSVP and submit questions to the panel through the online form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/college-panel. The forum will be held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Margaret Robin Blowers Auditorium at the B-P High School.

Other forums are scheduled for Feb. 25, March 24, April 29 and June 8. Each forum will feature a different topic.

According to the district’s website, B-P’s current graduation requirements follow the requirements established by the New York State Education Department and include that all students must earn the minimum of 22 credits spread across various subject areas. B-P currently requires students to earn four elective credits — a half credit more than the minimum established by the state — meaning B-P students must earn 22 and a half credits in order to graduate high school.

According to the website, the new requirements B-P is considering include:

∫ Requiring all students to complete coursework in personal financial literacy.

∫ Requiring additional coursework in health that would include a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing.

∫ Requiring all students to perform community service.

∫ Requiring seniors to complete a capstone project that they develop under the guidance of a faculty member — such as an internship, research project, or community service project.

∫ Requiring all students to complete a formal college and career plan with their school counselors.

∫ Offering students the opportunity to earn extra credentials or endorsements with their diplomas that signifies work completed that goes beyond the minimum graduation requirements.

∫ Replacing the class ranking system with the Latin honors system that is used at many colleges and universities — cum laude (with honor), magna cum laude (with great honor), and summa cum laude (with highest honor) in an effort to recognize the achievements of a greater number of students.

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