WAYNESBORO, Pa. — With Waynesboro Area School District offering fewer high school courses, the school board this week decreased the number of credits students need to graduate.
Students will be required to earn 24.75 credits, rather than 27.75 credits. They'll be required to take fewer physical education and elective classes.
Some of the changes are effective immediately, but the full effect will be felt by the Class of 2013, according to Superintendent James Robertson.
In a 7-2 vote Tuesday, with board members Billie Finn and Bonnie Bachtell voting "no," the school board approved the new requirements. Voting in favor were Leland Lemley, Chris Lind, Ed Wilson, Sherry Cline, Firmadge Crutchfield, K. Marilyn Smith and Pat Heefner.
Teacher Mike Engle encouraged the board to keep the graduation requirements higher. He said students not required to take elective classes will choose not to do so.
"They make students more well rounded. ... I believe by reducing the credits, you're reducing the quality of a Waynesboro education," Engle said.
"Our requirements are higher than anybody in Franklin County," Robertson said.
"Even with the change, they're still above the rest of Franklin County," Assistant Superintendent Evan Williams said.
The school board curtailed programs during 2011-12 budget negotiations, furloughing teachers in the process. Robertson said those schedule changes and physical education cutbacks necessitated new graduation requirements.
Lind said the new requirements will give upperclassmen opportunities for early-to-college programs and other classes outside high school.
"They'll have a lot more flexibility," he said.