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New Requirements for Graduation and Other Changes Coming!

Click+on+the+draft+flowchart+to+see+the+new+graduation+requirements+coming.+The+Capstone+option+hasn%27t+been+added+yet+because+the+district+is+still+working+out+the+details.
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New Requirements for Graduation and Other Changes Coming!

Click on the draft flowchart to see the new graduation requirements coming. The Capstone option hasn't been added yet because the district is still working out the details.

Click on the draft flowchart to see the new graduation requirements coming. The Capstone option hasn't been added yet because the district is still working out the details.

Graphic Courtesy Jeremy Koselak

Click on the draft flowchart to see the new graduation requirements coming. The Capstone option hasn't been added yet because the district is still working out the details.

Graphic Courtesy Jeremy Koselak

Graphic Courtesy Jeremy Koselak

Click on the draft flowchart to see the new graduation requirements coming. The Capstone option hasn't been added yet because the district is still working out the details.

Maeve Gennett and Mae Sayers

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Do you think it is easy to graduate from high school now? It’s actually getting harder. Graduation requirements are changing for District 11, but also all schools around the state. Beginning with the class of 2021, students will need to do more than just attain a certain number of credits.

First of all, students must demonstrate postsecondary workforce readiness and complete their ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plan) While the number of credits required remains the same, students will also have to, demonstrate readiness on a selection PWR measures, or readiness for both English and math by earning a certain score of a slate of standardized tests. For example, students would have to score at least a 470 in English on the SAT and a 500 in math to earn a diploma. A student may score an 18 on the English ACT and a 19 on the math ACT, or 2 two or better on an AP exam under both of these cores. There are other options for students who do not pass, but the district is still working out details.

Students also have the option of earning an industry certificate in CTE programs such as Automotive Technology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Construction, Cyber Security, Culinary Arts, Graphic Arts and Health Science. Or, students may receive a passing grade on a concurrent enrollment course, receive a Bronze Certificate or better on ACT Workkeys, or they may receive a 31 or better on ASVAB -AFQT exam.

To supplement post-high school career readiness, and to better align with the new Colorado state standards, District 11 is planning ahead and making several changes to better prepare students. Doherty is one of several schools in the district changing the curriculum to align and raise standards for students. All core subject areas will be adopting Pre-AP standards, with curriculum and assessments more standardized.

Spartan Center director Kim Southard is optimistic about the changes. When she was asked about how the new Pre AP curriculum addresses the new graduation requirements, she stated that this implementation will certainly take time and schoolwide adaptation, but it will grow and serve the new graduation requirements. “If we get the AP requirements right, it will all come together,” she said. She informed us that in every core subject, new freshman will be in Pre AP, starting next year. This curriculum is something teachers themselves will also have to learn and adapt to. But she is hopeful that the new curriculum will prepare students better for the new requirements, and for the future.

In addition to the changing curriculum, D11 System Improvement Specialist Jeremy Koselak explained how the district is preparing for some of the bigger challenges relating to these new graduation requirements. His goals are as follows:

 

  1. Shifting the mindset that students not directly focused on attending a 4 year, traditional college are somehow less valued by society.
  2. Creating multiple ways for students to check the boxes for PWR (Post Secondary Workforce Readiness) so that students are not leaving things to chance.
  3. Supporting the expanding needs of industry certification and concurrent enrollment.
  4. Grading in a way that empowers students and teachers to know and respond to the high rigor expected on SAT. Current grading practices fall way short on this front.

 

About forty teachers and administrators from Doherty visited Skyline High School in Longmont on March 11 to get ideas about being more innovative and changing to fit the times. Science teacher Steve Ottmer arranged the trip and said, “It was simply to allow teachers to ‘see’ something different. I think it’s important for teachers to have a growth mindset and think about what it looks like to make small changes in their classes, which hopefully will make changes at Doherty.”  

The rollout of the one to one devices for students starts in the fall, and seeing how technology has been incorporated was one of the reasons to visit. But reflection was also a big part.“I truly feel that students can learn just as much outside the four walls of my classroom as in it,”said Ottmer. “This is the reason why I continually take my students on field trips. These field trips allow my students to see real world relevance in their learning. If this is true, have you ever wondered why teachers don’t get to go on fieldtrips more often?”

More information about the graduation requirement changes can be found here:

https://www.d11.org/domain/180

4 Comments

4 Responses to “New Requirements for Graduation and Other Changes Coming!”

  1. Agnes Coursey on March 21st, 2019 11:25 am

    I do not think its okay to force a 16 year old to choose what career they wil have once out of high school. Also forcing students to attend college and incure massive amounts of debt is wrong. Its impossiable for someone to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. This is causing huge mental health problems for our children. Iys not healthly. Give these kids real life skills they need to survive in this world.

  2. adviser on March 21st, 2019 12:36 pm

    Note from the adviser: Thank you so much for expressing your concerns. You might want to investigate the ICAP and graduation changes more because the changes ensure students are actually getting more help deciding which classes to take. Also, students are not being forced into a college-only track, and students will definitely be getting skills to prepare them for the future.

  3. Marla on March 21st, 2019 2:07 pm

    I think its wonderful that the district is encouraging students to think/plan ahead and “not leaving things to chance”. OBVIOUSLY, they may change their minds about career choices and continuing education but the financial burdens of going to college with no plan can be detrimental, so why not get them thinking early about their options?
    It’s important for schools to TEACH kids that college is a good plan, but not the only option and that there is value in technical trades and skills based careers, while also EMPOWERING them to make a choice. Way to go D11!!

  4. Charlie B. on March 25th, 2019 9:18 am

    I think this is an amazing first step in fixing an outdated education system. D11 is getting ahead of the curve in regards to the different needs for children about to take on the world. They’re prepping our children to be productive members of society. This is outstanding D11. My son graduates this year and even though I have no more school aged children, I believe in this effort as I think it will empower those who may not have the want or desire to go to college. It will give the kids options and show them that there is more to life after high school than just college. Great Job D11 !!

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