- June 8, 2017 at 9:27 AM #26714
Darrell Hershberger@d-hershbergerWe’re revamping our high school graduation requirements, and thinking about adding a 3rd track of study to accommodate students with academic challenges.Would you mind posting your graduation requirements?Also, any thoughts on whether a “dumbed-down” diploma is a good or bad idea? How do you make graduation reachable for all students?Thanks,Darrell
- December 8, 2017 at 12:36 PM #41529
One method that could be used for students with learning disabilities is to offer a “work-ready” or vocational certificate without a specific set of requirements. If parents and staff agree that a student is incapable of completing the full graduation requirements upon starting high school, a special plan of study is created for that student. At the end of that customized course of study, the student graduates with a certificate rather than a diploma. (Using the word certificate maintains the value and integrity of your school’s diploma.)
There is a danger that such a certificate could be abused, so any policy surrounding it should be very clear. A senior who is just short of graduation should not be given the certificate as a replacement for the diploma, nor should it be given to a student who is trying to graduate early, or one who has an intense cultural apathy towards education. The certificate should only be for the students who are incapable of meeting the diploma requirements, not for those students or parents that don’t believe they need the diploma requirements.
- December 11, 2017 at 7:09 AM #41608
Thanks for bringing this thread back to the front, Delmar. I like the certificate idea.
Here in PA private schools have access to a lot of special-ed and learning disability resources from the public school system. I don’t know much about the process, but students with extraordinary academic struggles can be given what’s called an IEP (which I think stands for Individualized Education Plan, or something like that). Our school works with the state agency to evaluate the student’s abilities and devise an IEP that will maximize his potential. Those who perform adequately according to their IEP receive a special diploma that notes how their course of study differed from the regular course. Again, I don’t know much about this, and I may have gotten some details wrong, but that’s the gist of it.
- December 13, 2017 at 12:47 PM #41610
There is great latitude in designing work-study or independent study courses for credit, especially for 16 and 17 year old students. A form can be developed for students who work part time to document their hours of work, the responsibilities they carried, and the skills they developed. Their supervisor/employer can fill out an appropriate part to document their learning.
Also, students can be given credit for completion of independent courses they pursue on their own interest, such as computer technology or auto mechanics. Companies who offer such courses usually offer a certificate of completion which can be copied as documentation for your school’s assigning credit toward graduation. I once had a senior who had earned his PA state vehicle inspection license before he graduated.
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