JCPS among six school districts granted graduation waivers from - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS among six school districts granted graduation waivers from the state

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools and five other school districts were granted flexibility in graduation requirements Wednesday by the state board of education that will allow students to skip certain classes and take other courses more focused on career interests.

The waiver request came from Jefferson County, as well as from school districts in Danville, Eminence, Owensboro, Taylor County and Trigg County -- six of Kentucky's Districts of Innovation

It will essentially allow students in those districts who've successfully completed Algebra II, Biology, English II and U.S. History or met the benchmark score for the four end-of-course exams, as well as meet the ACT benchmarks for college readiness, to take an alternative path to meeting the state's graduation requirements.

Officials with the Kentucky Department of Education told state board members that with the "new focus on college and career readiness and the establishment of benchmarks for college readiness, more and more districts are realizing that a meaningful senior year of high school cannot be achieved without the flexibility to allow students to participate in learning opportunities aligned to their career pathway that may be better achieved without meeting the specific course requirements listed in the graduation requirement regulation."

The waiver was up for discussion during the state board's Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee meeting Wednesday afternoon and later approved by the full board.

It allows for changing of the makeup of the courses a student completes to meet graduation requirements, not the number of credits, and the waiver does not serve as an "early graduation opportunity," according to state officials.

Students must still earn 22 credits to graduate. Click here to see Kentucky's Minimum High School Graduation Requirements.

All six districts must also provide the Kentucky Department of Education with their policies regarding individual graduation plans and ensure that certain students who complete a locally-designed course of study, personalized to the individual student's needs and interests, does so in a way that incorporates the breadth of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards.

The state board previously approved a similar request from Owsley County in 2013, also allowing the district to provide an alternative path to meeting the graduation requirements.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz. 

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