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New graduation requirements to begin this fall

January 29, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Board of Education recently increased the number of credits required for graduation in an effort to better prepare Jefferson High School students for possible careers in computer technology and the medical field, school officials said this week.

Jefferson High School students are required to have 21 credits to be eligible for graduation, but that will increase to 24 credits under the plan approved by the Board of Education last week.

Under the new requirements, students will have to take an extra credit in math, an extra credit in science and an extra credit in social studies, Board of Education member Doris Cline said.

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The additional credit for math means students will have to take a class that is above algebra 1, such as calculus, algebra III or trigonometry functions, said Superintendent of Schools R. Steven Nichols.

The extra credit in science means students will have to expand their studies into areas such as biology, chemistry or physics, Nichols said.

The additional credit in social studies is a requirement that students take civics classes, Cline said.

The graduation requirement changes, which are designed to reflect new state standards, will go into effect this fall with the incoming ninth-grade class, Cline said.

Although the new requirements will be especially helpful for preparing Jefferson High School students for college, it can help all students, including those who plan to enter the work force after graduation, Nichols said.

"It's an across-the-board improvement," Nichols said.

Students can start preparing for their graduation requirements as early as eighth grade, when they can take algebra I, Cline said.

Jefferson High School Principal Susan Wall said in a news release that students will determine in eighth grade which of the three paths they will follow:

  • Professional (four-year college).

  • Skilled or technical (technical education beyond high school).

  • Entry (going directly from high school to the workplace).
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