Alder now requires more class credits for graduation

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On Feb. 11, the Jonathan Alder Board of Education voted to raise the bar.

Starting with next year’s freshman class, students will need a minimum of 21 class credits to graduate from high school. The current standard is 20.

 School board President Tom Bichsel said the change comes as part of the district’s plan to redesign curricula across all grade levels over the next few years.

District Superintendent Doug Carpenter first presented the board with ideas for curriculum changes several months ago. At that time, he asked the board to be proactive than reactive to state curriculum requirements that are expected to be instituted soon for high school graduates.

Carpenter said the plan’s purpose is to better prepare Jonathan Alder graduates for the work force. It won’t be the same scene the students’ parents faced when they graduated from high school, he said.

The district soon will communicate the new curriculum requirements to parents of this year’s eighth-grade students.

In other business, the board delayed final approval of school calendars for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. They are discussing the possibility of exchanging a previously proposed closure day in the first few weeks of the school year for a day added on to the end of the school calendar, Bichsel said. The exchange would give the district an added "calamity day’’ for bad weather.

"We are looking for more input into the possibility of exchanging the day and expect to discuss the school calendars further at our next meeting," Bichsel said.

The Jonathan Alder school board will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. March 10 in the board’s conference room at Jonathan Alder High School.

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